Life can sometimes be absurd. So, what other weapon can you use to fight this absurdity than cynicism? ‘Hiding Bodies‘ is, in many ways, an atypical short film. On the one hand, the narrative stakes of Erika Lupo’s project seem to respect the demands of a theatrical monologue, while on the other hand, the choice of a single character who has a less-than-usual task implies certain stylistic principles that push the whole project into a rather unconventional zone. We are faced with the confession of a young woman detailing her routine as a “handyman” for a serial killer who has to deal with “cleaning up the crime scene”. A subject is as bizarre as it is violent, one might say. But that’s only on the surface. All this violence is purely discursive, but it is constantly countered by a fine irony that ultimately raises a question as to the veracity of the events narrated. Practically, despite expectations, nothing is really bloody (or real?), in the same way, that the evolution of the monologue recalls the syncopated coherence of some of the best pages of absurdist literature.


With sharp intelligence and dark humor, Erika Lupo presents an experiment that fully embraces a deliberate bizarreness, masking a metaphor for the toxicity of human relationships. In this way, the film supports and upholds the inherent contradictions of its textual core, depicting a series of seemingly mundane details that systematically avoid aligning with the context imposed by the monologue. It is, in a way, an excellent case of putting into practice the “distancing effect” that post-Brechtian playwrights and directors have taken up to explore the human condition in an age of alienation. Thus, this short film launches a structural challenge intended for viewers who have the patience and intuition to search for meaning beyond the superficial layers of the image. It is a risk that the director knowingly takes, but with the talent, courage and intelligence to carry through a project that is as strange as it is substantial. ‘Hiding Bodies’ is far from being a short film that aims to attract attention at all costs, but it is certainly a success.


For the intelligence and cynicism with which it renders an atypical yet painfully authentic perspective on human alienation, ‘Hiding Bodies’ was awarded the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the June 2024 edition of TMFF.