In general, the reaction of individuals to people suffering from physical illness is fear or repulsion. But, in fact, many of these disorders hide sensitivity, a special perception of reality. ‘Development of June‘ is a short film that talks about the purity and bizarre beauty of the emotions of an old woman who is confronted with dementia while trying to become aware of the present she lives in. Director Joe Olmstead sensitively cuts off a few fragments of the existence of an impressive character, a wanderer in the whims of memory and time that seeks not to lose contact with the actual reality that plucks her from her fragile youth fantasies to cast her into the nightmare of the old age loneliness. The theme of psychic disorders, though not a novelty for world cinema, is still a prolific source of inspiration that almost every single time generates intense and notable stories of special characters through whose perception we can better appreciate the chance of being aware of our own identity. The same thing happens while watching this short film that touched us not only by the director’s care that alternates almost paradisiacal frames depicting the protagonist’s fantasies with painful visual images but also by the talent through which the leading actress embodies the mute suffering of one’s own self degradation.


June is a 70-year-old woman who lives alone in a house that is a sort of museum of the objects defining her personal history. The danger of losing this fragile micro-harmony due to a commercial development plan accelerates her inner tensions, pushing her into the almost idyllic phantasms of her own past. However, the presence of her daughter and granddaughter will manage to give her emotional comfort, but will this temporary balance succeed in helping the protagonist overcome the demons of her own dementia?


It is hard to say what impressed us most in this short film: the chromatic balance of frames that oscillate between reality and hallucination, or the credibility with which the actress manages to surprise not only the unfortunate aspects of psychic disorders but also the fear of being alone specific to old age. Although he is a young director, Joe Olmstead has a noticeable aesthetic and emotional maturity, orchestrating a bittersweet incursion into the intimacy of a woman who reflects (like the mirrors in which June looks at her face) some of the great fears of most of us. Even if it seems to be a project about the disastrous effects of dementia, ‘Development of June’ is much more than that, since it goes beyond the pathology area to provide us a sensible stylistic exercise about the inner demons of the human soul.