31/07/2017

Nothing's The Same/Bigger Plans - 2 BFC Shorts

Quick Thoughts: Nothing's The Same (2008) & Bigger Plans (2012)


For Burundi's place in the series we will be looking at two shorts from the BFC.

  

The Burundi Film Center is a non-profit organisation that helped fund and organise the production and promotion of short films made by students with the wider goal of seeing an artistic and journalistic culture flourish in Burundi. Today we'll take a quick look at two of these shorts and the first will be Nothing's The Same.

This short, made by Linda Kamuntu, follows Anémone, who, going to collect water, is confronted by the jealously of other women when she encounters her fiancé. Contemptuous with her seeming virtuousness, the two women then warn that "she'll gets what coming to her". Going home after collecting water, Anémone is assaulted and then raped, leaving her fearing that she will not only contract a disease such as HIV, but be abandoned by her fiancé. Nothing's The Same then attempts to create a realist narrative centred on a fear of virtue being destroyed in every sense of the word, but also a fear of abandonment and social condemnation.

With some ok acting and competent direction, this script and idea is executed quite well. There could have been a greater use of more expressive cinematic language as well as a better registry of the emotional shifts that our main character would have gone through. But, all in all, Nothing's The Same is not a bad movie.

The second film we will be looking at is Bigger Plans. This short film, directed by Cynthia Niyonsaba, has a simple premise rooted in one decision our main character, Moma, has to make. He has almost saved enough money to enrol at university, but is being pressured by his social group to spend his money elsewhere. With the most sincerity, his mother asks if he will help her buy a plot of land on which she could build a home for her younger children before she passes. Confronted by these possibilities, Moma has to then decide which is the 'bigger plan'.

Though this is not an immaculate film, Bigger Plans holds a particularly expressive idea as it mediates between ideas of education and family, asking what is more important and what is the greater good for people. Answering conservatively, this short has a warm conclusion that was built up to quite well. So, again, not a bad film from the BFC.

If you want to watch either Nothing's The Same or Bigger Plans, click on the links.

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