This short film from Hungary uses an inventive strategy to dramatize the theme of personal indifference to the suffering of others.
Daniel Erdelyi's approach is to fill the 4 minute "411-Z" with action. While one of the characters remains blind to the drama around him, another works furiously to help. Unfortunately, it is the captain, the person in charge, who sets the ship's till on automatic and leaves the pilothouse to warm and eat his soup, and it is a mere sailor who notices a body and then a survivor in the waters. The sailor runs from aft to fore to engage the attention of his captain, but given the length of the ship and the time it takes to navigate it, the sight of the people in the river is momentarily lost, and the captain fails to act. The sailor's continued attempt to save the swimmer, the captain's total self-absorption, and the reality of a long ship that presents different perspectives is a wonderful metaphor for the inaction of leaders who steer the ships of state. Erdelyi establishes this picture of passivity in "411-Z" not by imitating it but by denying it with narrative and action.
Interestingly, another short from Hungary, the award winning "Turelem" or "With a Little Patience," addresses the same theme but approaches it very differently. They both worth seeing!
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