Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

A Day’s Work (2008)

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Above is an interview from the director of this intense, 17-minute film, Rajeev Dassani, a USC film student. There isn’t much analysis on the film itself, but the backstory of how a student goes about making a film at this level is interesting to hear. The best thing about this film is how Dassani slowly builds the dramatic tension through the mistrust of both groups of characters, the Mexican day laborers and the white American family. He is representing a much larger culture of mistrust and social stereotypes through this microcosmic example. The film creates relatable characters in both parties – neither group is a “bad guy,” but they are both suffering the effects of stereotyping. Dassani also fosters a perfect example of how, with a little effort to cross the language barrier and a bit of sympathy, the young Latino boy and the young white kid can come to an instant understanding in the worst circumstances.

In the first good marketing move I’ve seen amongst the short films we’ve watched, Dassani created an official site for his film where you can see the incredible wealth of awards and festivals that have featured this film, including the Student Academy Awards Gold Medal.

Something I find utterly baffling is that there are zero reviews or analyses of the film online. Shouldn’t someone be talking about a film that garnered so much acclaim?

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Written by Alisa Hathaway

March 25, 2011 at 8:19 am

One Response

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  1. […] slavery today. Like the previous two student films I’ve analyzed, The Red Jacket (2002) and A Day’s Work (2008), the director uses a smaller story to represent a much larger social issue. This is a perfect use […]


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