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#TIFF19 Review: Life Support (Short Cuts)

September 3, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Inspired by an article that was published in the Globe and Mail’s First Person series, and produced as part of a six episode digital anthology bringing these stories to the screen, Life Support is a short film that really captures the feeling of a brief, unexpected moment shared between two strangers.

The short opens with Barbara (Raven Dauda) sitting alone on a bench in the middle of a park, when a tennis ball rolls towards her feet and a dog runs up to fetch it, followed by the dog’s person, an older woman named Maria (Jayne Eastwood). Maria apologizes, but Barbara insists that it’s ok, and throws the ball for the dog to catch. This leads to a poignant moment of connection between the two women, as the lonely Maria breaks down about past trauma in her life, and Barbara consoles her.

Will this encounter lead to a lasting friendship? We don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. Barbara and Maria are just two people who are brought together by chance, and they need each in that moment. The film itself is short but sweet. It’s nicely directed by Canadian filmmaker Renuka Jeyapalan, whose first short Big Girl won the award for Best Canadian Short Film at the festival back in 2005, and it features evocative black and white cinematography. Finally, Life Support is carried by a pair of fine, emotional performances from Dauda and Eastwood.

Raven Dauda and Jayne Eastwood in Life Support

Public Screenings (Short Cuts Programme 02):

Friday, September 6th – 9:45 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Thursday, September 12th – 9:00 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

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