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+380|Kyiv, Ukraine|

Directed by Andrew Opryshko and Troy Bronson | Reviewed by Samiksha Periwal

“+380” is a one-minute film on a nameless mercenary spy who suffers from a psychological condition called schizoaffective disorder. This man is seen to be roaming around the streets of Kyiv at night where he feels safe enough to unleash a wilder side to himself, not surrounded by anybody, with just a few distant sounds of the war missiles on the horizon. The unusual activity however seems to stop just until somebody dials the number ‘+380’ which is Ukraine’s country calling code. 

The protagonist of this film suffers from a mental health condition known as schizoaffective disorder which is characterized by a confluence of schizophrenia symptoms like hallucinations or delusions and mood disorder symptoms like depression or mania. The impact that a political unrest can have on the people staying in such a situation and experiencing the trauma is something the media often fails to cover on an individual level. This film aims to tap the individual aspect of the trauma that the people staying in a war-prone area may experience. The protagonist’s representation of a lonely man, wandering across the streets of Kyiv, performing manic activities is the core of this one-minute video. 

The cinematography in terms of the transitions is pretty good. The work of the camera is also crucial which tries to cover every aspect of the emotion that the man feels through taking several shots from different angles and creating a spookier effect by an ongoing background score. However, the underlying story that the film tries to portray has not been highlighted very clearly and the end somehow seems a little vague from an audience’s point of view. It is important to note that the issue that is being spoken about in the movie is extremely relevant and relatable for many considering the present political context, yet the film somehow fails to create that connect with the viewers and could have been a bit more creative in terms of the expression of the thought that has been touched upon. 

An essential point that has been brought about through this film is that many people in such situations may suffer from mental health issues; therefore, it is essential for the country and/or other organizations to look into the same and generate options for such people to get treated and have a better lifestyle. The emotional aspect of losing someone in a war situation or spending all your time alone in a closed space might be very problematic for many. The effect of this alienation can come out in various forms, one of which has already been shown through this film. 

The actor, Troy Bronson has done a fairly good job in enacting the persona of a manic individual. The aesthetics and looks of the protagonist definitely matter in such an expressive and explicit movie. The outfit, the vibe and the facial expressions from his side were on point acting as an add on for this film.

The director Andrew Opryshko is born in Lviv, Ukraine and is considered as an experimental filmmaker who tries to touch upon topics that are usually not included in the mainstream cinema and might at times be considered ‘deviant’ as well. He is also appreciated for being aware of what his audience needs and delivering the same successfully and flawlessly.

All in all, this one-minute, short concept-based film is worth watching for its aesthetics, camera work and the issue that it is trying to address. While the whole world is aware of the situation currently happening in Ukraine, the representation can largely take a politically inclined form. Through this film. We see a comparatively more liberal form of representation of the situation through media which can be consumed by the general public and be attached to in a more emotional and moral aspect. This experimental film is surely there to create an impact on the audience and we hope to see a positive response for the same. 

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Samiksha Periwal is an 20 year old student from Kolkata, West Bengal. She is an enthusiast, eager to learn and explore. She has done her schooling from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata and is currently a student of Christ University, Bangalore pursuing a triple major in BA Psychology, Sociology and English. She is a passionate writer and has won many laurels for her school through the years.

 

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