Kindness and understanding have become scarce, if not disappeared completely in today’s society. We’re so wrapped up in our own lives we forget about those around us. No longer does a neighbor knock on your door asking for a cup of milk or sugar for tonight’s dinner. Instead you’re probably too busy arguing over property lines to remember their last name. These relationships are explored in ELO Films new short film Valencia Road.
The 7 minute short directed and written by Logan George and Celine Held captures the interactions and decisions of strangers in a desperate situation. What we stand to learn is how sometimes even the most tragic events cannot bring us together.
The film beings as our main character Catherine is driving on an old country road to her sister’s house. The radio is on and her phone is vibrating and ringing, but she ignores it. That is when she notices an over turned car on the opposite side of the road and pulls over. She gets out and discovers a woman trapped inside and stays with her until the police arrive.
Though the plot isn’t detailed or extravagant, this film thrives on the moments that are unspoken. The thoughts we know our characters are having and yet can’t seem to say out loud. For instance this first happens when Catherine called the police. She calls and reports she has seen a car accident, but as the operator is asking her questions, instead of dealing with the issue at hand she is more concerned with how long this will take? Even with the possibility of someone being dead inside that car, her biggest concern is time? This is emphasized as a car barrels down the road next to her not even bothering to stop.
What our filmmakers are trying to do is appeal to our humanity. They want us to feel the connection to the world and to the woman in the car, only to shut us down like so many of us have shut the world out. This aspect of the film is what makes it so incredibly upsetting yet enlightening. We witness a connection between Catherine and the woman in the car and then it is taken away from us without a second thought.
After the car crash Catherine calls the woman hoping to develop some sort of relationship but is disappointed when the woman wants nothing to do with her. The audience feels just as disappointed but why? This is the purpose of the film. The filmmakers so cleverly want us to reach for this connection and we expect it to be reciprocated. The truth is, that isn’t the society we live in anymore.