Red, White and Blue is a timely and relevant film about abortion rights and is currently on the Oscars shortlist for Best Live-Action Short.
If I had seen this film last year, it would have been listed as part of my short film awards. Unfortunately, I did not get around to doing so. In fact, I completely forgot to cover the film in connection with Dances with Films. A lot of this goes back to my headspace in the days and weeks following the October 7 massacre. While I don’t do acting awards for short films, I can say that Brittany Snow delivers a performance that would be a career-best if this were a feature film. Even at that, her acting in the short is better than what I saw in many feature films in 2023. This is a performance that should elicit empathy from viewers, maybe–just maybe–lead to politicians changing their ways on abortion rights. It is currently available for a limited time on YouTube.
I can say without the shadow of a doubt that this film is worthy of making the Oscars shortlist. Not just that but it needs to be mandatory viewing for every state legislator, State Governors, State Attorney Generals, every member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. In short, every elected official who decides on anything that has to to with women’s bodily autonomy. Unfortunately, this includes way too many men forcing their religious beliefs on others. Anyway, I would view this film a companion piece to Paula Eiselt‘s Under G-d.
We learn rather quickly that single mother Rachel (Brittany Snow) needs to cross state lines for an abortion. Unfortunately for her, Arkansas is rather strict that abortions are only legal when the mother’s life is in danger. The law is so draconian that it offers zero sympathies in cases or rape or incest. My home state of Kentucky is the same way after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Back to the film, I was not expecting filmmaker Nazrin Choudhury to take us down this particular path. Listen, I would say more but I do not want to get into spoiler territory here. Let me just say that the synopsis does not lie about there being a heartbreaking truth about Rachel and Maddy’s (Juliet Donenfeld) journey. If conservatives do not have empathy for either, then I’m at a loss for words.
It isn’t surprising to see a few films about abortion rights on the Oscars shortlist. While I had hoped Under G-d would have made the list for Documentary Shorts, another film did: Deciding Vote. It will not surprise me if both films advance to the final nominations ahead of Oscar Sunday. Again, it’s such a timely and relevant subject especially as state after state are rejecting draconian ballot referendum following the Supreme Court ruling.
Red, White and Blue should be mandatory viewing for anyone in a position of power and deciding on what happens with a women’s bodily autonomy.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Nazrin Choudhury
CAST: Brittany Snow, Juliet Donenfeld
Omeleto released Red, White and Blue on YouTube on December 7, 2023. Grade: 5/5
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