Some movies manage to keep you breathless not by the complexity of their action, but by the way in which the dialogue between the characters slowly reveals new emotional layers. Well, ‘Bloody Mary‘ is by far a short film that captivated us with its sharp, implosive and silently angry “huis clos” dialogue throwing two men in a psychological tension between life and death. In a way, director Hamé Raeen concentrates here, in almost 15 minutes of film material, what David Cronenberg did in his “A History of Violence” feature, offering us a couple of characters where the protagonist-antagonist relationship changes radically. In fact, concepts such as “good / bad man” and implicitly “redeeming crime” become significant for the progression of the dialogue that helps us deepen much more subtle details than we can observe at a superficial glance.


What at first seems a robbery becomes deceptively the confession of a desperate man unaware of the way the other performs in cold blood, with surgical precision an act of manipulation. From this perspective, the short film is a kind of case study of some emotional patterns, supported not only by a simple dialogue only in appearance, but also by gestures, hesitations or suggestive silences intelligently orchestrated by two talented actors. In a clear, coherent and well-executed cinematic narrative, Hamé Raeen provides through his project a kind of film equivalent of the broken characters from the South of Flanney O’Connor’s prose, especially from her emblematic text “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Coincidentally or not, this title is perhaps the most appropriate synopsis for the short film ‘Bloody Mary’ that we are more than happy to host and award at our festival.


For the tension, consistency and coherence of its dialogue and cinematic language that gives us a subtle and sharp psychological confrontation, ‘Bloody Mary’ was awarded with the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the April 2021 edition of TMFF.