Play It safe
Play It Safe is the best short I have seen for a long time. Airing now on Mubi, Mitch Kalisha’s debut is a moving, brutal and insightful piece of cinema.
Cinematographer, Jaime Ackroyd, takes us to a place with this story that grabs us and drags us through the intimate horror of casual racism and shame.
The story is about Jonathan, played by Jonathan Ajayi, who is first casually asked to play a ‘gangsta’ by some friend at the drama school he attends and then encouraged by his teacher to take the part as it is ‘ a good part’.
This is the first shot across the bow of casual racism that the writer, Mitch Alisha, lets loose. The other is a far more visceral, dark, encounter when Jonathan randomly draws a card and has to play an ape.
The tumble into the memory of shame, dissociation, separation and loss of identity one feels is mitigated by a terrible act of primal bravery when Jonathan plays out the role as an intimidating ape – – not playing it safe as his teacher had earlier suggested to the group.
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