‘Safekeeping‘ is one of those obsessive short films that thrills and touches you with the same intensity, defying the default boundaries of the genres we are used to. In other words, it is hard to say whether David Yorke’s project falls into the category of intimate dramas that attack the extreme valences of love and self-sacrifice or whether it reinvents the narrative structure of a pre- / post-apocalyptic film dealing with the theme of lethal viruses. Perhaps that something so special about the project lies precisely in our inability to truly discern its generic identity beyond its seemingly superficial narrative mechanism that prefers to adopt a tender, purely descriptive approach to the relationship between a sister and a brother, to the detriment of a dynamic narrative core that fills with action the poetic shell of this incursion into a fragile world whose (self)destruction is imminent. Thus, the mainstay of the director is not creating a conventional narrative, focused on characters who follow a well-defined epic path, but, on the contrary, it is that of deeply exploring the invisible side of a delicate life story, meaning the paradoxes of the inter-human emotional connections that often push us toward extreme choices where good and evil, morality and immorality become interchangeable concepts. David Yorke pushes his viewers into a fluid and seemingly paradisiacal world, juggling with our expectations, orchestrating a delicate and visceral cinematographic exercise, while trying to capture the evanescence of moments of pure happiness that fill the diffused borders of the characters’ memory, waiting for the final extinction.
Jessica already knows what she has to do and that her plan cannot be changed anymore. So, she leaves home with her younger brother, Charlie, to relive for the last time some of the moments of absolute happiness that taught both of them what fraternal love means.
Tenderness and cruelty – the central poles of this wonderful and painful eulogy for the fragility of the human soul burns the viewers’ eyes either through its Edenic frames that configure the innocence of childhood, or through the moments of extreme violence defying the moral prejudices of the spectators, while trying to capture the pure essence of unconditional love. Continuing somewhat the visceral exercise initiated by Haneke in his film Amour, David Yorke approaches the love theme beyond the romantic clichés, to achieve with a bizarre combination of cynicism and compassion the neuralgic points of human devotion, managing to build in a few minutes, not just a universe both familiar and strange, human and inhuman, but also a feminine character who is empathetic and repulsive through her very own humanity. Far from being a light project, ‘Safekeeping’ is an intense and problematic, cruel and touching, poetic and visceral short film, which offers us the paradoxical x-ray of the human soul for which love and devotion break the conventional boundaries between good and evil.