Some short films convince you from the first few seconds that you are in front of a project made by professionals. ‘The Letter‘ is by far one of the most relevant examples we have come across lately. More precisely, if the short film, signed by Kevin Romeo & Matt Bakken, has great quality, it lies in the complexity of its cinematic material. No, in this case, we are not talking about an elitist approach to a subject intended for a niche, but about a certain spectacularism in the way in which the two directors manipulate a generous range of editing techniques. Likewise, the structure of the entire project has the architecture of a cinematic vortex defined by spatial and temporal ruptures, by dynamic images and sounds that, while revisiting an equally traumatic and providential episode for a character, provide viewers with an intense dose of adrenaline.


After escaping from a mining accident, a father keeps his promise to his daughter and returns home. Still, this chance to enjoy a new day next to his loved ones is not only a matter of luck, but it also involves the dedication of some people who ensure the protection of their comrades. The man thus writes a letter addressed to his unseen saviors, whose respect for work has managed to save a life. In fact, the short film is less the individual experience of a character than the story of a collective – the miners, to whom the directors pay tribute. Kevin Romeo & Matt Bakken thus sign a project that, beyond its dynamism and atmosphere of a race against time, is a confession about love, gratitude, and care for the other’s life. The narrative voice of the survivor is the red thread that welds all these sequential transitions, capturing, either in a metaphorical way or through harsh realist images, the stream of consciousness of the one who plunges into the memory of a nightmarish incident. ‘The Letter’ is an intense, almost tactile cinematic experience that, while not taking its narrative ambitions to another level of refinement, certifies admirable directorial talent.


For the professionalism of the cinematographic construct that makes the viewer plunge into a tactile, sometimes overwhelming experience, ‘The Letter’ was awarded the Film of the Month distinction in the March 2023 edition of TMFF.