by Del Harvey
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If you go to the film’s Kickstarter website, you will find this description: “GGS is a thriller short film that explores issues such as government surveillance, food deserts, power dynamics, family loyalty, honesty and betrayal.”
Filmmaker David Holcombe has this to say about the film: “The script was built around this image to include many concepts involving the cycle of civilizations throughout history, but as it relates to experience on an individual level, as well as the nature of power and authority, of loyalty and greed, and of nature as nurturer. Once the script and many of the storyboards were completed in mid February, a lot of test footage was shot to explore various themes that would need to occur in the final film.”
Watching GGS evokes those very concepts and feelings, thanks in large part to a solid cast and, of course, the extremely hard work put in by the filmmaker himself. David wrote, directed, co-produced, lit, did make-up and wardrobe, and did sound design, mixing, and picture edit for the film. This was clearly a labor of love by a very talented artist.
The actors, too, deserve much credit. Chief among them is Jill Oliver as the lead female, Kat. She is the one who bears the hope of a new society in her womb, and the one who suffers the most for it. Bryn Packard does a fine job as Clem, her lover and the father of her child. Together they are part of a resistance force which struggles to survive in a world crumbling around them. Although we are never quite told why, a lot is said about the world’s food resources and the inability of big corporations to maintain any sort of feasible quality assurance so that its customers, the population, can survive and thrive.
Speaking of big corporations, there is a shadowy “big brother” type of government which watches their every move. Celeste Burns is “She,” the female watcher who seems to be rooting for the lovers in spite of having to carry out her orders. And John Gray does a fine job as “Him,” a sort of Everyman for the corrupt, power hungry, self-centered CEO/nation’s leader. His focus is never far from his own skin, which is how it should be if you’re going to be a horrible leader to your people. Corruption and greed are the theme of the day, at least for now, and Mr. Gray’s bad guy poster boy plays that tune perfectly.
As I write this, David is preparing to send the film off to festivals and I hope the reception is positive. We need more filmmakers willing to speak out about moral injustice and to get people’s thoughts stirred against being the couch-dependent lemmings we have become. Hooray for David Holcombe and his film GGS. May you soon have the opportunity to watch it at a festival near you!
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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