Few short films manage with minimal narrative and image resources to express pure anxiety, as is the case with ‘Mind in Sight‘. And yet, the short film signed by Florian Purkarthofer is neither a thriller nor a horror. At least, not apparently. In fact, this is one of its most important aspects since the director constructs this nightmarish exploration of a character’s thoughts starting from a relatively banal event: an exam. At the same time, Florian Purkarthofer avoids the usual pattern of creating his fictional universe around a psychotic protagonist, even if some viewers might feel that strange atmosphere of a film like “Repulsion” by Roman Polanski. Basically, what this short film reveals to us is the portrayal of an emotional state that is as… normal as possible. But this doesn’t diminish its drama in any way, nor does it push it towards an ostentatious mannerism that degenerates into a crude ironic gaze or involuntary humour. Thus, the director manages very well the resources offered by the central metaphor (the exam seen as a condemnation to the gallows), to capture the somatic, organic inner shock of losing contact with reality due to fear.


This relatively simple pretext – so simple that it is difficult to expose the narrative thread concentrated in a domino of distressing states – is built on a permanent fluctuation between two spaces that capture two perspectives on the protagonist. The young woman becomes both the object of the “contemplation” of the others, which define the concrete reality and the subject of her anxieties, opening for the spectators a gateway to her soul and mind where all those catastrophic scenarios take place. Florian Purkarthofer’s talent is best manifested in these transitions, on the invisible boundary between the metaphorical and the real dimension, articulating with naturalness and precision impactful images and suggestive acoustic constructions, in an alert editing that “suffocates” the viewer’s comfort. ‘Mind in Sight’ is that kind of film that doesn’t need an elaborate narrative framework to give us a deep and visceral experience, but this is only possible thanks to a very special directorial vision that we are happy to award at our festival.


For the way in which the director exploits a natural feeling revealing anxious emotional details and for the cohesion of the structural elements whose impact takes the viewers out of their comfort zone, all while privileging a total identification with the protagonist, ‘Mind in Sight’ was awarded the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the June 2021 edition of TMFF.