Fugue

By Laura Neri | Drama
A lonely boy and an injured woman develop an unlikely connection at a hospital.

Rena is recovering from a serious auto accident in a hospital. She has serious injuries, but she is also deeply depressed, grappling as she is with cataclysmic loss.

Across the hallway, a little boy named Manolis is lonely and bereft as his mother succumbs to a grave illness. He is left confused and lonely as his father confronts his grief. As Rena comes to terms with the aftermath of her tragedy, she finds a sense of kinship with Manolis, which helps them both process their enormous losses.

Written and directed by Laura Neri, this meditative, beautifully observed short drama is a study of both wrenching grief and beautiful connection, one that spans generations and situations but finds common ground in raw, almost unbearable emotion.

The emotional terrain of the film is anguished, but the creative approach is restrained and profoundly quiet, carving out a sense of time and place that feels both luminous and vast, almost as if the hospital setting is an in-between space between life and death.

The camera favors longer shots and is attentive to small details and moments that absorb Rena, as the editing delicately branches from the present moment to shards of memories of the accident. The filmmaking overall possesses grace and poeticism, but it also mirrors the stasis that Rena finds herself in.

The storytelling slowly parses out what happened to Rena in the accident and just why she seems immobilized, with little will to go on. Details accumulate slowly for both viewers and for Rena, who fits together these memories like a puzzle until she can fully look at what’s happened and what she has lost.

Actor Maria Kallimani embodies both the way depression and grief immobilizes and draw people into themselves. But as she observes Manolis, played by young actor Aggelos Karaminas in a natural, sensitive performance, she starts to come back to the world — and can reach out to Manolis just when he needs it the most.

“Fugue” is based on the director’s personal experience of a near-fatal accident with her mother. That inspiration has been parlayed into a moving narrative that culminates in a cathartic and moving climax that is all the more powerful for its quiet, restrained build-up. Loss and suffering eventually affect all humans sooner or later, but we experience it differently. “Fugue” asks us to look underneath these differences and empathize with the pain. Compassion won’t take away the grief, but it offers comfort in knowing we aren’t alone in our suffering.




You Might Also Like:

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Into the Silent Sea

By Andrej Landin | Sci-Fi
A Soviet cosmonaut who is stranded in space discovers a voice in the distance.

Infinite ft. George MacKay

By Connor O’Hara | Drama
A terminally-ill man has a plan to 'live on' and gets his friends to help.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.