A young couple struggles with the loss
of their unborn child and watches their relationship unravel.
Written By: Aristotelis Chaitidis
Directed By: Daniel Michalos
Few things hold the same power of change than a stillbirth. For parents, especially the would-be Mother, carrying a child to term that is no longer living, easily surpasses a "scary" thing and quickly becomes life altering. Enter "Sternenkind", which for those who don't know translates to "stillborn" or more accurately: "stillbirth". I'll be completely honest when I write I didn't expect a whole lot here. We've all seen this story onscreen in one form or another, so to expect something fresh would be asking a lot. But hang on a second... within the first few minutes I realized I may have been a little hasty regarding my initial thoughts. The images gracing the screen were quite good. Even, dare I write... well thought out. Director Daniel Michalos seemingly knew what he was doing; so let the show continue!
Throughout the 20+ minute length of the movie I was treated to a sad, well put together story with what I could only hope had a "silver lining" kind of ending. The dialog, although sub-titled, was penned in a real, natural way by writer Aristotelis Chaitidis who, coincidentally, easily possesses the ability to tell a good story as well as write lines. As I wrote above, although not a new plot, "Sternenkind" was written well enough to feel fresh; easily keeping me entertained throughout. This really is a good film, one I hope will be enjoyed by the masses.
On the technical front, this is another film I don't have much to complain about. The cinematography was above standard, for an indie, and even the audio... which I always complain about, was handled very well. But where does "Sternenkind" really shine? It's all in the acting. For the most part, this film contains more expression acting than actual dialog... and it turned out very well. It's amazing how much of a story depends on expressions, and let me tell you that we got some real talent here. This is not me writing that the dialog itself was delivered badly, quite the opposite actually. I'm simply stating that if you're looking for a hollow, cheese filled indie flick... this is not it. Some excellent casting choices have resulted in a real, at times gritty kind of movie. One everyone involved should be proud of.
The end result is an indie flick well above an ordinary, run of the mill film. I personally would have loved a "full color" presentation of "Sternenkind", but I completely understand the concept and reason for the switch to black and white. I just personally felt that the film was put together well enough, and acted well enough to have simply let it all run in color. That's really just a mild gripe however, in the grand scheme of things this was such a great short film. Although maybe not for everyone, anyone who appreciates a good story, some good acting... and maybe a touch of mental fear will feel right at home here.
An interesting though to close off this write-up: I would love to see Daniel Michalos and Aristotelis Chaitidis team up and do a horror flick. There are many elements in this film that, given a slightly different story, could easily translate to a scary tale. Just a thought.
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