Omeleto

LP

By Alexander Etseyatse | Drama
A detective tries to draw a confession from a shoplifter. But he faces a moral dilemma.

A group of shoplifters orchestrates a complex series of pickups and dropoffs between multiple stores, moving bags full of clothes quickly between dressing rooms and store floors.

At one of the upscale boutiques, a loss-and-prevention officer named Maximus watches over the video monitors, recognizing one man in the group from earlier heists.

Maximus manages to stop the thief before he leaves the store and takes him to a back room, where he attempts to draw a confession from the shoplifter. But the encounter takes an unexpected turn, leading to a difficult moral dilemma.

Writer-director Alexander Etseyatse’s incisive, engaging short drama combines a propulsive plot, dynamic direction and a smart, layered script to construct a thought-provoking story that questions how overarching systems of power can warp relations and perceptions in the individuals trapped within them.

The film begins with notes of suspense, weaving together a tense, fast-moving sequence of the shoplifters at work with deft editing and handheld camerawork. But the rhythms begin to settle once the focus shifts to Maximus, who is responsible for preventing shoplifters from absconding with thousands of dollars in merchandise. Maximus is focused, professional and serious about his work, and catching one of the shoplifters is clearly important to him.

But as the two men confront one another, the film becomes both a duel of conflicting viewpoints and agendas that deepens and develops the characters of both men, particularly the shoplifter, who we learn is named Marvin. Marvin has been caught before, and the stakes are high for him: he’ll have to go to prison if he’s arrested.

Yet there’s some hope for him: both officer and shoplifter share a surprising connection, as well as a shared background and race. Actors Drew Morris as Maximus and Lucano Atitola play well off one another, as adversaries who nevertheless share a glimmer of connection and understanding. If there’s anyone that understands how the system is stacked against Marvin, it should be Maximus. And yet how that sense of solidarity plays out — or rather, how the system takes over — leaves Maximus questioning exactly where he stands morally.

“LP” could conceivably be slotted into the crime drama genre, but with its subtle yet incisive weaving of social commentary into the crux of the drama, it also is a powerful examination of what it means to be embedded into a social system of unequal justice. In a forensic portrayal of one relatively small exchange, amidst a larger backdrop of prison and mass incarceration looming in the background, we see how individuals can become dwarfed or overpowered by the larger dynamics set into motion. We can tell ourselves that we stand apart from these systems of oppression, but as we watch people get swept up into its currents to uncertain fates, we realize they may be more powerful than we could ever conceive of.





You Might Also Like:

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Lost and Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.

Partners (Sundance)

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's sex life is in a slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship.

Spoetnik

By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man works in a food truck, across from a brothel with a girl who needs his help.

Long Branch

By Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart | Romance
A young woman finds a one-night stand. But he lives 2 hours away via public transit.


Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening. That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.