“One (Nine)”: World Premiere at Female Eye Film Festival

Shot from Ingrid Veninger’s “Birth”

I will admit to having watched the film three times and seriously thought of foregoing a review but as the filmmakers put an effort in at such a difficult time in our history I decided they deserved a review.

There are 9 female film makers from differing parts of the world creating one film that is a series of 9 shorts from each of the filmmakers. The PR blurb says, “In times of uncertainty, we embrace uncertainty and create. During the COVID-19 pandemic nine filmmakers in differing parts of the world joined to make a collective experiment. A nine-chapter anthology of perspectives and experiences, Real, unreal, fiction, and everything between”. Perhaps I should stop here?

I am glad I persevered and settled down to closely watch a film I thought initially was a bit too artistic. There is certainly no simple plot that takes you from point A to Z. Each filmmaker makes her own film but a common element is COVID-19 either expressly or symbolically.

Ok you have heard the COVID-19 narrative from many sides but this film, although repeating them, gives them some dramatic meaning and drives them home either very directly or very succinctly. If you need refreshing on COVID and what it has done to all of us you’ll find most of these adjectives and descriptions in the film;

  • Loneliness
  • Social isolation
  • Racism
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Line ups
  • Masks
  • Social distancing
  • Empty streets
  • Deserted public transit
  • A widespread attack on our way of life
  • Death
  • Suffering
  • Anguish
  • Separation from family
  • The lack of family celebrations
  • Banging pots
  • Working and school from home
  • Short tempers
  • Bad dreams
  • Feeling trapped
  • Lack of control
  • The loss of a sense of time

I give thumbs up to a series of films that so completely deal with the impact of COVID in an artistic and creative way that includes animation, poetry, dance and creative cinematography.

Do I have a favourite? I rather like Ingrid Veninger’s “Birth” as it gives one a sense of hope that humanity will prevail. Veninger is also executive producer of “One (Nine)”.

What will be your emotional reaction? I can’t say what it will be but for me it was sadness, hatred of COVID and the ills it has created on humanity both physically and psychologically but a sense that humanity has the spirit to weather the storm and, in some cases, soar over it. Well done!

This is part of the Female Film Eye Festival and the film can be seen at Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox and Encore Plus Media March 26, 27 and 28. You can rent at Digital TIFF Bell lightbox at https://digital.tiff.net/ closer to the 26th of March. You can learn more of the Festival at  femaleeyefilmfestival.com

The directors and their films are described here;

TOUCH – Mina Shum (Canada)

HEAL/RAGE – Isa Benn (Canada)

TIME GAP – Dorothee Wenner (Germany)

TOGETHER – Shengze Zhu (China/USA)

BIRTH – Ingrid Veninger (Canada)

SPIRIT – Jennifer Podemski (Canada)

SOAR – Slater Jewell-Kemker (Canada)

UNCERTAINTY – Carmen Sangion (South Africa)

ENCOUNTER – Lydia Zimmermann (Spain)

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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