‘Cotton Wool‘ doesn’t just talk about the fragility of life. Also, this touching project is not just a tender and heart-breaking incursion into the whims of unexpected illness distorting the everyday routine of individuals. This short film is more than that. It is a celebration of love and family devotion, an exercise of admiration for the beauty of a world that we ignore in our continuous fleeing for more or less important goals. In spite of his young age, Nicholas Connor proves through his project a great artistic and human sensibility combined with special directorial precision that gives him a balanced perspective on a tragic family destiny. Indeed, the theme of disease has a considerable consistency in the current world of major films (The Sea Inside, Amour, Wit, Still Alice, etc.), but it rarely happens that a short film can surprise with such a fine accuracy the emotional kinetics of a family for which the disease is not only a medical reality, but also an attempt to rehabilitate the emotional balance lost in the minor conflicts of each day. Also, this short film goes beyond the status of an exclusively fictional project, illustrating a fragment of our immediate reality, by surprising at a micro-structural level a large community, the carers (especially the minor ones), whose responsibilities are often incompatible with their biological and emotional development.
After a woman suffers a stroke that causes her a hemiparesis, her two children, a 7-year-old boy and a teenage daughter must take care of her health. But how is it possible to sacrifice all the time to devote your attention to a sick person and to have a life of your own, at the same time? Is there anything more important than family love? Do you need a disease to understand how important others are to you?
Although conceived as a short film with a strong social and human stake, since it aims to capture the turbulent existence not necessarily of the sufferers, but of those who take the task of watching over the loved ones confronted with the devastating effects of the disease, this project surprises through an intense visual component, trying to illustrate both the exterior of the family environment as well as the dreamlike or nightmarish projections of the victims who have lost control of their own body. As a consequence, the rough, almost naturalistic images depicting the visible effects of the disease vary with disparate poetic nuclei that synthesize the inner conflict of people experiencing ruthless dideases. For Nicholas Connor, cinema is a subtle language that doesn’t need the pretext of a wide narrative to capture a recognizable universe; thus, ‘Cotton Wool’ is a short film that impresses with the force by which it surprises the deaf, beyond the words pain of those who have lost control of their own lives but who are given the last chance to save their emotional comfort.
For the impressive sensitivity through which it captures the inner and outer conflicts of the victims facing the whims of the illness, for the extraordinary talent of the actors embodying the special destiny of a family that has to reconsider their intimate emotional balance, for the talent of the director who illustrates with painful poeticism a sore reality, ‘Cotton Wool’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the February 2019 edition of TMFF.