Despite the already short runtime, this Berlin Teddy winner still manages to stretch itself too thin, even though its otherworldly-esque concept has potential.
Dir. Santiago Loza
2019 | Argentina | Drama/Sci-Fi | 75 mins | 2.35:1 | Spanish
Not rated (likely to be at least M18 for some mature themes)
Cast: Romina Escobar, Paula Grinszpan, Luis Soda
Plot: Tania learns that her grandmother spent the last years of her life in the loving company of an alien. Together with two friends, the trans woman travels through rural Argentina to bring the creature back to its place of origin.
Awards: Won Teddy Award (Berlin)
International Sales: Open Reel
Subject Matter: Moderate
Narrative Style: Unconventional/Elliptical
Pace: Slightly Slow
Audience Type: General Arthouse
(Reviewed on screener)
As the title already suggests, this film is quite brief indeed, not even running past 70 minutes. Yet despite the competition (assuming it was up against longer, more substantial LGBT works), Brief Story from the Green Planet managed to snag the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Whether it deserves the award remains to be said, but at the very least, in its conceptual form, the film has potential.
Charting Tania’s, a trans woman, journey with her two friends through the rural parts of an Argentinian town, Brief Story incorporates sci-if elements into what is a subtly-stylised film about respecting the other.
Here, the word ‘other’ refers to a number of things, most notably in an alien being that the trio is attempting to bring back to its place of origin, after it accompanied Tania’s grandmother in the final years of her life.
The other significant reference is of course towards the LGBT community as the film—through a narrative that is already stretched extremely thin—explores what it means to be different in a world that could be hostile to them. It has its surreal moments, but those are far and few between.
Ultimately, the otherworldly-esque concept loses its novelty before it gains any steam, and despite some fantastic use of electronic music to create moods, Brief Story feels almost way too comfortable revelling in its stagnating endeavour.