Review | Tara Gadomski's I See You Now A film review written by the SHIFT Youth Jury member Zoé Stegers.
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Review | Tara Gadomski's I See You Now

A film review written by the SHIFT Youth Jury member Zoé Stegers.

In this year's edition of the SHIFT Film Festival, the Youth Jury got the opportunity to receive a free-of-charge coaching by the film critic Bjorn Gabriels who taught the basics of film analysis and how to write a good film review. Tara Gadomski's film I See You Now was one of the 12 films which has officially been selected to the festival's Short Film Competition. After having attended the workshops, Youth Jury member Zoé Stegers reviews the film.

23 september 2020

How does one communicate during a pandemic? This is the question most of us asked ourselves when the whole corona situation began and it is also the scenario which Tara Gadomski brilliantly presents on an emotional level in her short film I See You Now. Some got used to these newly found dynamics in society. But it is still not the same. Yes, we can see others on screen, but emotionally we can still feel distant. This is captured in the heartwarming story of a young women and her father, communicating through Zoom and talking about their day, their concerns and inner conflicts, showing how different their views and coping mechanisms are.

The awkwardness in handling technology that old folk show on the one hand, and the handiness of modern ways of communication on the other hand, is nothing new for society. But having this visualised definitely shows how rooted these aspects are in our way of living. The realness in showing how difficult it is to live through the day right now, constantly being at risk financially and health-wise, is nothing unknown to us either. 

All of this can be comprehended by everyone now. Therefore, the short film definitely seems like a part of the audience's new reality. Society has changed and these changes are beautifully shown in this piece of art There are no parts that seem unimportant, everything adds up to the story and makes it seem realistic. Raw emotions in a down-to-earth environment simply underline the current way people stay in contact with others, especially those not living near to you or those that are at a special risk. 

Not only does the setting in general apply to most people now - since video communication is very convenient in times when you shouldn't leave your house - but it is also realistic for everyone living with a longer distance to a beloved person. This situation applies to many people and therefore the film can reach a broad spectrum of viewers. Yes, the film does deal with communication during difficult times, but it also shows how people cope with the pandemic: Some find comfort in their faith and church community, some find comfort in love and generally in being with their significant others.

The story shows a change from ignorance to acceptance in small steps, but still visible. It might not be an extreme case but for everyone feeling unloved because of their gender or sexual orientation it might mean much. Whilst one might not directly understand the meaning of the title "I See You Now" in the beginning, it gets clear once one has watched the whole movie. The play with a hidden meaning in the title that repeats itself throughout the story conveys a more complex and artistic feel. It is truly capturing how much meaning words can hold. 

The whole situation and relationship between a father and his daughter is not sugar-coated and actually this is what makes this film unique: It is not stylised, it doesn't feel staged. It just has the right amount of feelings to draw the viewer into the dilemma, showing compassion for both sides. This short film can be of much help for everyone feeling uncertainty about the future, whether that might concern acceptance or stability. 

"I See You Now"; a sentence which holds much more than just one meaning. It is filled with a much deeper message, one of acceptance. Now I understand you, now I do accept you as you are. I do not only see you visually, but also emotionally. The title is a simple-sounding sentence which can bring hope and contentment. I respect you for who you are, especially in those hard times in which we have to live at a distance to everyone. I can see you now.

(c) All visual material is used with the filmmaker's permission.

Over de auteur: Zoé Stegers

Zoé Stegers (18) is a freshly graduated German pupil who studied Design and Art. Zoé is highly interested in different cultures, therefore her favourite motto is "Art knows no borders".

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