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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'MY LITTLE BROTHER'
- Directed by Anthony Bennett -

This experimental short outlines a child’s view on technology and the way it affects people. His thoughts are expressed through a voice-over, illustrated with stop-motion animation and footage from his home environment.

This innovative film manages to shine a light on much-debated topics of the modern world using an unexpected device: the flow of ideas going through a boy’s mind.  The voice-over narrative is playful, sensitive, but also accurate in its depiction of the Internet’s perils.

The boy sees that his brother is more passionate than him about the IPad, even though he’s just three years old; however his grandparents are not that interested in using their laptop. He also remembers he was told that Facebook is not for children and compares Internet scams to fires that “bad people” set up in the world as often as every 5 seconds. From this on, he starts thinking what would happen if Internet scams happened in real life. His perspective is amusing and clever. His awareness of Internet risks is not self-determined, as he innocently depicts a “naughty thing” he did: he ordered himself birthday presents online using his parents’ card numbers. The aftermath of this event determined him to have a complex nightmare: he dreamed his little brother learned how to control a satellite using his iPad, which crashed in the volcano that is close to their hometown, causing an eruption. His bad dream is both funny but thought-provoking, taking into consideration the technological advancements of our world. Information and software moved to the cloud and there are children in the world who can break codes of reputed institutions.

The stop-motion animation uses elements from the child’s universe: lego, toys, paper cutouts, simple drawings. The hand-held point of view shots of his brother and grandparents and the random images from his camera testing keep the viewer close to his playfulness. His slow cloddish way of talking adds humor to the witty voice-over.

All things considered, this short film is an innovating cinematic experiment conducted with few material resources, but much creative capital. “My Little Brother” is a heartfelt and clever meditation on the online medium and its possible dangers.