Total honesty: I have not yet read Neal Shusterman’s Unwind, though it does sound rather good. While I was tinkering around this week looking at short films, I found this one inspired by the novel. Basic plot: as a compromise to a war fought over abortion, parents are allowed to sign their kids up for organ harvesting, under the guise that the child will live on through organ donation. It’s six minutes long, and extremely effective.
I really enjoyed what director John Lyde did here. The emphasis on the eyes of Kelsey (Stefania Barr) made sure that we got attached to her, in essence identifying with her so that we could participate in her acute fear as though we were in surgery ourselves. The use of continually shifting perspective from the Nurse (Nichelle Aiden) to Kelsey was particularly effective, as it kept the action on the healthcare provider and patient as opposed to the gore of whatever was happening with the surgery. As someone who used to work in healthcare, I was instantly reminded of the care provided by a few excpetional anesthesiologists, who made sure to put scared patients at ease. The gentle tones, the reassurance… I’ve seen that happen. In a moment, I was in awe of those doctors once again, appreciative of what they continue to do. That quality helped transport me for a few moments. We were able relax with the dulcet tones of the Nurse… until we realized that we were listening to legal rhetoric and watching a young girl remain conscious as she laid unable to move in a surgical chop shop.
And that, my friends, is food for thought: how many times do we let someone’s calm tone talk us into something bad? How many times do we trust someone who’s in a position of authority just because? Something to think about on a Saturday.