Directed by: Nicole Pott
Written by: Nicolle Pott
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Clara ( Katie Marie-Carter ) and brother Dan ( Ellis Hollins ) have been living and supporting each other since the death of their mother. It's been a few years and although Clara tries as hard as she can, it's tough to keep connected with her brother. His friends seem to be the priority for him and although he clearly loves his sis, he's simply not around. Even for the important occasions.
Clara also happens to be a fighter, unloading her grief and stress into athleticism is her way of coping - but when it comes to family, she simply can't seem to compete with Dan's friends and life. Shortly after this title starts, we learn that Dan has bailed out of a dinner; and Clara is understandably angry. This was important for her, for them. It's after she has eaten alone, in front of the TV and finally gone to sleep that Clara is hit yet again with tragedy. There's a persistent knock at the door, and it's the police.
Powerless is a gritty, hard hitting short film that packs a lot into a length of under 20 minutes. It's a story shrouded in the gang life, but that life isn't where the spotlight shines itself. That light shines upon Clara, and the gang life is only used as an excuse to examine the after effects on family members and even friends. Nicole Pott has turned what could easily have been an action film, into something a little different. Something drastically more dramatic and character driven, and Katie Marie-Carter was not only up to the challenge, but far exceeded my expectations of acting in micro-budget films. Her love, grief, and anger all feel real and portrayed at the right times. But this isn't an all bad story, and there is a message here and some emotional moments.
A lot of times I find that micro-budget movies use a lot of handheld shots. This is to be expected since we're talking about very tight budgets. I usually can't stand titles with this style but sometimes, like this time, it works well for a production. The jittery camera movements compliment the overall look and feel of this title, adding some of the reality and grit I wrote about above. Powerless is just as much about the unsteady, rocky look of the film as it is the story and cast. It all just came together so nicely equalling a very entertaining piece of art.
Powerless is quick, hard hitting, and emotionally stacked. It's also something that a lot of people will be able to relate with on one level or another. A definite must see, four stars.