Movie Short Review: ‘Josiah’

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer-director Kyle Laursen delivers a very timely 19 minute short film addressing the nuances of racism and sexism, and how one’s background alters the perception of an encounter. In a scenario that has played out countless times over the years, we witness an actor audition for a role, and we see how words in a script or words spoken without thought, can pack a punch.

Brandon (Luke Forbes, CROWN HEIGHTS, 2017) is up for a lead role in which his friend and the assistant director (Mather Zickel) has recommended him. The film’s writer-director (played by screen veteran Kevin Dunn, recently of “Veep”) is in the room, as is the production assistant (Melanie Chandra, “Code Black”). It’s a Civil War era story, and includes the racially charged language of the era … something that makes everyone uncomfortable. Well, everyone except the film’s writer-director, who defends his words as truthful and authentic to the era. As the discussion progresses, emotions run high, and the director condescendingly states, “It’s good to talk about these things.”

Generational differences. Racial divide. Gender insensitivity. Thanks to the education and awakening that has been a part of society recently, it’s obvious to us as observers when a remark is inappropriate or insensitive. Many times the words are said with absolutely no ill intent, but the lesson to learn is that is no excuse. As Brandon enters the elevator after the audition, we find ourselves exhaling with him.

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