I don't really have a lot to add to Bone In My Beard's review, which I think is a very considered, eloquent appraisal of this film, but I feel like I should say something.
I feel infinitely under-qualified to comment at all about a film of this caliber, but I shall do it anyway.
As ever, a tight, beautiful production. Visually polished (that is an understatement), and a lean, effecting story. My problems with the film are exactly that: my problems. When watching the film, I had a faint sense that it was *too* lean and *too* effecting; I had a looming feeling that it was acutely aware of what judges look for in this competition. That is obviously not a very valid complaint about a film, but it did feel to me somewhat calculated, and that prevented me from becoming truly invested in the story.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a "too soon"-er about the earthquake, but its inclusion in the story felt almost emotionally manipulative. Neither am I one to resent pros in the competition. What is it if not a celebration of ability? However, something about this short left me cold, and I'm fairly certain it has something to do with the emotional beats in the film being too baldly emotional.
As mentioned above, I feel very uncomfortable speaking negatively about a film of such obvious quality and beauty (of the kind which I could only hope to ever create myself), but for me, this film left me unsatisfied.
Anyway, enough waffling. May the Linemen continue to let beauty flow forth from their brainholes!