By Aleix Buch
Hope as a placebo effect. Above all attempts, this short film addresses overcoming as salvation, as hope, as refuge of lost souls. Through two concentric circles that intertwine between them. It is explained the story of Claudia Recher (Júlia Molins), a young woman who lives a tragic as well as horrible situation and ends up escaping from it. While in the second one, Nikolaus (Josep M. Alejandre), the antagonist tries to impose himself from a situation that he created and failed to control.
“HOPE” closely examines the very idea of sensibility—and identity, memory, perception. If that sounds a little obscure, well, the movie is designed as an enigmatic experience, to be absorbed, felt, puzzled over, free-associated about and reconsidered while you’re watching it and then for a good while afterwards.
I don’t believe that narrative works when it’s trying to teach a lesson or speak a factual truth. What it’s good for is an exploration of something that’s commonplace and universal. If you can thoroughly explore some nuance and what’s universal about something, then that to me is what narrative is for.
We are also used to narratives coming to an end in some way and having some resolution and conclusion, and exploration isn’t always going to have that, and maybe it never does. These endings are sometimes artificial.
We’ve got a story where characters are being affected by a kidnapping through their own point of view. They are having a hard time understanding their own personal narrative because it’s been built wrong, and they are trying to follow through on something that is potentially built wrong.
For Claudia in particular, she is trying to reconstruct her own life, trying to survive. To do that she’s breaking out of her reality, and creating a new one—but even that one is false in some way.
Without cathartic conversations in order to explain Nikolaus’ past, he transmits what he is suffering through expressions. Unable to establish any kind of emotional attachment, this makes him an animal following his instincts as a release devise. His guilt becomes his torment in a prison with bars that is impossible to escape.
The way this short film ends shows that there is fear and ambiguity in Claudia’s resolution story. And everything about the short film—the music, the cinematography, Júlia’s performance—are all conveying just that.
– Aleix Buch