Zsofi (Gasparfalvi Dorka) is a new student at school, and her experience is less than comfortable. The hall monitors hover over class authoritatively. The teacher barely stops to introduce Zsofi. And the teacher of Zsofi’s favorite subject, choir class, pulls her aside and tells her to mime the words instead of sing them.
Mindenki is a film about the simple cruelty of childhood, coming mainly in the form of a choir teacher. Rarely does cinema capture children in a light that is realistic. Often instead it embellishes or comedically raises their intelligence to make childhood seem more interesting. But Mindenki is intriguing because the children act like children. They quibble over unimportant things. They feel compelled to obey the school’s authority, even when they’ve been wronged by it. The script handles the protagonist’s stage of life quite well.
The child actors featured in the film, too, make good use of this script. Dorka and Hais Dorottya display great talent for their age, giving the film a feeling of authenticity that lesser actors would be unable to do.
Mindenki is shot crisp. The aesthetic yields a slightly golden twinge to the frame that is warm and inviting. The dolly that follows Zsofi through the hallways of the school in the opening shot is a beautiful introduction to the dramatic narrative, roping the viewer in with its slow movement and the gradual crescendo of the choir music that will become the emotional crux of the film.
In a world where short films run the gamut of quality, Mindenki is a strong effort. Director Kristof Deak makes fine work of the subject matter and acting talent to weave a simple but effective tale of childhood.
Mindeki is one of 10 films currently shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award nominations. The shortlist is as follows:
- Bon Voyage (Dir. Marc Wilkins)
- Ennemis Interieurs (Dir. Selim Azzazi)
- Graffiti (Dir. Lluis Quilez)
- La Femme et le TGV (Dir. Timo von Gunten)
- Nocturne in Black (Dir. Jimmy Keyrouz)
- The Rifle, The Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy (Dir. Oualid Mouaness)
- Silent Nights (Dir. Aske Bang, Prod. .Kim Magnusson)
- Sing (Mindenki) (Dir. Kristof Deak)
- Timecode (Dir. Juanjo Gimenez)
- The Way of Tea (Dir. Marc Fouchard, Prod. Matthieu Devillers)
The Oscar nominations will be announced January 24, 2017.
As always, thanks for reading!
Like CineFiles on Facebook for updates on new articles and reviews.
—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)