[#2020oscardeathrace] In the Absence (2018)

Director: Seung-jun Yi

28 mins. Not Rated.

  • Academy Award Nominee: Best Documentary Short Subject [PENDING]

 

In the Absence is a short film chronicling the disaster of the South Korean ferry, Sewol, which, in 2014, sank nearby Jeju Island. Presented through real footage, texts from passengers aboard, real phone calls and phone call transcripts, and interviews with people involved, In the Absence is a haunting look at this true disaster and loss of life that very easily could have been lessened.

This is a haunting short film, and I struggled to get through it without chucking something at my television screen. Seeing the disaster play out across the initial days and following months while government officials continually made poor choices that worsened the situation is absolutely sickening. This is a hard-hitting piece of documentary film-making that says so much in such a small run-time.

In the Absence is a truly effective little short that hit me very hard. I learned a lot about a situation I knew very little about, and the time I spent was frustratingly powerful. I cannot recommend this one enough. Seek it out and be changed.

 

5/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

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