4 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 7 minutes
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“Strangers”, like “Tackle Box” is another short that shows that sometimes, dialogue is a miniscule detail that can be dismissed without further thought. “Strangers”, through its palpable tension, doesn’t need dialogue, to keep it crackling, but relies steadily on its actors in this story about simmering Israeli-Arab discord, briefly broken.

An Israeli and Arab get on the same subway train, sitting on opposite sides of each other. They eye each other warily, and the Israeli brings out his Star of David necklace to show who he is, possibly to anger the other guy, possibly not. However, the other guy just brings his newspaper up to eye-level again, reading. Soon, however, a group of skinheads boards the train, a group that hates both sides. It soon becomes no matter to these two about their dislike for one another’s people. It’s just a matter of finding a way to escape the skinheads that’s the issue here.

Even without dialogue, “Strangers” makes its tension through the sounds of the rumbling of the subway train, the squeak of brakes, and suspense music where it’s needed. Cinema is a visual art, along with everything else that it is, and in an artform that’s choked with dialogue on a weekly basis (though having dialogue in a film isn’t always heinous. It’s just depends on the movie), it’s refreshing to see another short that tells the story, purely through the eye of the camera. Nothing more and nothing less.

Posted on February 8, 2004 in Reviews by

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