This short film was scheduled to screen at South by Southwest (SXSW). Screen Zealots will continue some of our planned coverage of SXSW, the annual film festival in Austin, Texas that was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sometimes a short film is the perfect vehicle for powerful storytelling, and one of the best examples of this I’ve seen in a long, long while is in writer-director Tomer Shushan‘s thought-provoking “White Eye.”
The politically charged film touches on the issue of illegal immigration is Israel, and is confrontational yet encourages sympathy with its tale of how a privileged person’s anger can inadvertently destroy the life of another.
Omer (Daniel Gad) finds his stolen bicycle locked on the street. Wanting help reclaiming his property, Omer calls the police. The man becomes increasingly agitated when the cops aren’t much help, telling him to wait for the supposed thief to show up so they can compare stories.
Eventually Omer comes face to face with Yunes (Dawit Tekelaeb), a migrant worker from the nearby meat packing plant, who swears he paid for the bicycle and is the rightful owner. The confrontation becomes a struggle between entitlement and advantage versus a perceived helplessness and weakness.
This timely short has many layers and the story, while simple, is deeply sincere and emotionally painful. Supported by powerful performances from an authentic cast, the film is beautifully directed and will haunt me for weeks to come.