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Short Films for Short Attention Spans

by Sarah Bentivegna

If you’re anything like me, then sitting through a 90+ minute film without pause can be a bit difficult. I’m not proud to admit, but when it comes to films my attention span is remarkably short. Although I do love a good full length film, I’ve come the the realisation that short films are undoubtedly the way to go. My favourite resources for short films includes short of the week and the National Film Board of Canada, also known as the NFB

The NFB in particular has appealed to me ever since I took a high school level film class. It wasn’t until I went to the Frame x Frame exhibit at the Musées de la civilisation à Québec that this interest grew. Although the exhibit closed over a year ago, one of the films I saw stuck with me. 

The film is called Aria, directed by Pjotr Sapegin and inspired by Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly. It holds an incredibly complex message within its 10 minutes. The story follows the romance of an Indigenous woman and a white settler. I always interpreted this film as a profound look at how indigenous women have been, and still are, severely mistreated and taken advantage of. The film is beautiful, yet truly heart breaking, as you’ll see at the end.

Watch it here.

I find short films to sometimes be denser than feature-length films. Their messages are stronger and they don’t drain you of your attention, rendering it easier to truly absorb what the director is trying to convey. Next time when you take a break from studying, instead of scrolling through social media, i highly recommend watching a short film such as the ones found on NFB or Short of the Week. When a film is free, and less than 20 minutes, why not?

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