Final Girls Berlin Film Festival: Bodily Autonomy Short Film Block

With the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision last year, bodily autonomy has entered heavily back into the conversation. Could you imagine if men’s bodies were as heavily governed as a woman’s body? Oh wait, I remember when Oklahoma state representative satirically introduced a forced vasectomy bill, and Fox “News” had a complete meltdown because they don’t understand satire. Uhm, this opening was going somewhere. Ah, yes! Bodily Autonomy! That’s the next block of short films!


Written/Directed by Catherine Bonny

Title card for Marked, red text spells "Marked", overlayed on a black background

Andrea (Lauren Summers) gets a new birth control device implanted in her arm. Shortly after its implantation, Andrea starts having nightmarish visions. What happens when those visions become a little bit too realistic?

Marked is a bit exasperating. While the point it is trying to make works in the scheme of it all, the main characters are just beyond annoying. I couldn’t find myself rooting for a single one, besides tragic Rob (Qi-Zhang). The practicals used looked sloppy, and the filming of the practicals felt way too rushed. As long as Bonny’s idea gets across then that technically makes this successful, unfortunately that doesn’t mean it’s good.


Yummy Mummy

Written/Directed by Gabriela Staniszewska

Title card for Yummy Mummy, red text spells "Yummy Mummy" overlayed on a still of Lilith at the doctor's office.

Lilith (Yasemin Ozdemir) is halfway through her pregnancy. While everyone focuses on the baby, Lilith feels she is becoming invisible. Slowly she begins to lose all sense of herself.

I felt a mix of feeling on this short. The idea is there, and the knowledge of filmmaking is overly competent, there’s just quite a bit of dead space here. Too many static shots bring this should be frantic and energetic short down quite a bit. The style and substance here is abundant, but with some lackadaisical camera work Yummy Mummy falls a few pegs down. The practical effects though are fantastic, and looks completely…gross. If you’re a fan of grotesque practical work, this is a short for you.


The Anteroom

Written/Directed by Elisa Puerto Aubel

Title card for The Anteroom, white text spells "La Antesala" overlayed on a black background

Refugee 28312 (Irene Anula) finds herself in a concrete box, with the last raft leaving in just 120 seconds. With a baby in tow, 28312 must try and make the right decision for her and her baby.

Brutal. The Anteroom is a wicked piece of political commentary. From Anula’s excellent acting, to Aubel’s great story, this short film is nothing short spectacular. The haunting idea of being stuck in a box while an automated voice tells you you’re not eligible to survive, all while a countdown timer slowly ticks closer to zero…just brutal. I think some politicians should be FORCED to watch The Anteroom. 9/10


Written/Directed by Alexandra Pechman

Title card for Sleep, white text spells "Sleep" overlayed on an image of someone sleeping

One night a woman hears something while trying to sleep. It’s probably just the house settling. Right?

Quick, sweet, and to the point. Sleep knows exactly what it wants to be. It is three quick minutes. The setup works, the stinger works, Sleep works.



Written/Directed by Carla Nichamin

Title card for Lichemoth, white text spells "Lichemoth" overlayed on a black background

A long forgotten folkloric creature of the undead: Lichemoth. A photographer (Idalia Valles) gets an assignment to photograph a metal band. After the lead singer blows some sort of powder into her face, things start to become a bit…strange for this photographer.

Lichemoth is a fine short film. It would have good if the ending would have been more interesting. I love me some ambiguous endings, truly. Make me think and work over the context clues in my head. But if the setup is just okay, then what is there to make myself want to care about to find out the ending? Even if the setup for this short film is decent enough, I only really care to take the information provided at face value, rather than let it sit with me and try to figure out what Nichamin was really trying to say.


Sangue Nero

Written/Directed by Ophelie Neve

Title card for Sangue Nero, faded white text spells "Sangue Nero" overlayed on a still image of bare wooded trees

Chiara lives with her mother and very abusive step-father. After a particularly violent incident, Chiara takes matters into her own hands.

Slow, dark, and deliberate, Sangue Nero is an emotionally packed short film. Whenever abuse is depicted in a film (short or feature) I always find it hard to watch. For some reason the abuse that takes place in this short feels almost borderline unsafe. I know deep down the actors/crew/Neve probably created a safe environment…I just didn’t feel safe while watching it. I love the direction this short takes, and we can add this to the “good for her” list of films. Neve is a truly talented filmmaker, and it will be very interesting to see what she does next in her career.


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Written by Brendan Jesus

I am an award-winning horror screenwriter, rotting away in New Jersey.

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