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© 2016 by Bucharest ShortCut CineFest. All rights reserved.

FILM REVIEW

'THE TEAM'
- Directed by Andrea Brusa & Marco Scotuzzi -

This tragi-comic short film depicts the story of two immigrants that try to pass a European state border in a merchandise truck.

A smuggler transporting football sportswear hides a Syrian woman in her trailer and a man under the truck, closely tied to it. The journey is interrupted by a flat tire. In exchange for repairing it, the man wants the radio sports commentary of the World Cup final translated. As he focuses more on the radio than the actual work, the driver decided to cut off the transmission. But the man tricks her to enter the trailer and locks her there, promising to let her out if she continues to translate. With the help of the other immigrant, the driver finds out that the stubborn man lost his son during his illegal immigration to Europe. He promised the kid they would watch together the World Cup final. This makes the rough smuggler more compassionate, but the series of events doesn’t end here.

The short tackles the sensitive subject of Muslim immigration to Europe and it manages to portray in an amusing way a story about suffering, hope, and closeness. The plot is suspenseful and keeps the audience interested, from the break-down of the truck to the end of the film, the situation keeps turning upside-down. The characters are unique and well-rounded, growing out of their typology. The driver is an authoritarian woman, who made a business out of smuggling immigrants, but who becomes sympathetic to the grim story of the man. The female refugee is timid, but calm and capable when she takes action. The quirky man wears a Superman hat and acts kind of clumsy, but he is a suffering person who has not become spiteful. The actors give an authentic performance,  making their characters memorable.

The film has a dynamic rhythm, given by the constant use of hand-held camera, a visual element that transmits restlessness to the viewer is a constant reminder that if any other car passes, suspicions may arise.

With its comical plot twists, odd characters, optimistic view on life, asymmetrical framing, upbeat soundtrack, “The Team” brings to mind Nanni Moretti’s work, an Italian master of humor. We appreciate the director’s ability to make a heart-warming, funny and vivid story out of a delicate subject matter.  As Charlie Chaplin once said, “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.”