Like the Jodie Mack shown yesterday ('Something Between Us'), this has a mysterious poetry that is more than a sum of its parts, and that comes from a mysterious place, in this case seemingly from outside the frame, somewhere behind us, underneath us. Both have edits that seem unusual to me, and the mystery maybe slips in through the gap between each shot? I hope we see more Everson here soon. Several in a row, plz!
Taken alone, at a brief 7 minutes FE26 may seem superficial, but this short film is part of a very large body of work that also includes Park Lanes, which shows a full 8-hour work shift in real time. Collectively, the films of Kevin James Everson are an impressive study of contemporary, working-class African-American life. My rating for FE26 is in the context of this larger body of work.
I don't have much problem with them taking copper and other metals from long abandoned houses that are going to be torched soon enough or bulldozed by the city, but removing those manhole covers...what if some child fell into one of those holes or some car tire? People could be seriously hurt even killed. No amount of self-justification can excuse that. Fascinating film for all that - a taste of street reality.
This short film brings up the issue of lower-class citizens stealing copper as their main source of income, but does little with it. The men explain that they do not regret being thieves because it is the only way they can take care of themselves and their families. Even though this is a short film, there could have been more depth into why they would need to be theives. Overall, it stays on the surface of the issue.
From the title alone, you can tell that this film is not simply functioning on a surface level. Everson wants the viewer to think critically and search for the answers. But the touch to this film does not end there, he shows how any story is worth knowing, especially when it is delivered the right way. The short is detached, but this is for a reason. Though it did not personally touch me, it drives me to dig deeper.
This movie was very insightful of the aspect of a lifestyle that we, as movie watchers, almost never get to see. Kevin Jerome Everson did a great job with fitting a sufficient amount of content within the seven minutes of the film, without having to skip over the essential details. I would have a loved to know a little more about the background of the two main characters, but nevertheless this was a great film.