Short Film Review “Wise Owl”



First, the Recap:

Mourning and bereavement. In the wake of personal loss, especially in the context of a beloved family member who has now passed on, the manner in which we choose to remember and process it all remains fluid. It will strike each of us in different ways, be handled in both up front and more hidden actions, and ultimately bring us to a place of acceptance and peace. Feeling the weight of her cherished mom’s death, a woman (Lewis Barfoot) embarks on a journey of heartache and anguish, trying to cope with the void now left within her.

It is a trail that takes her through a surreal reality, filled with heavy emotion, spiritual and physical concepts that illustrate her grief, and all found within the grander notion of the majestic and equally haunting bird of prey, the owl. Seeking the proverbial guidance of the great bird, known for its “wisdom”, the woman equates her pain and longing for freedom to the very nature of the hunter itself, facing both the realizations of death’s permanency, it’s lasting effects on her, as well as the healing that can come from allowing her sorrow to be taken away.

Next, my Mind:

In a slight departure from the norm for this reviewer, the medium of a music video gets an indie short film-esque treatment courtesy of director Narae Kim, who brings to life a visually artistic interpretation of Barfoot’s new single (and hence, the film’s title) that speaks to the singer/songwriter’s actual grieving over her own mother’s passing. With the dreamlike landscapes that hold within them an otherworldly facet and ghostly presence that remind the viewer even more so about the themes being explored here, the evocative lyrics and owl-based imagery they invoke accompanied by softly orchestrated music all combines to paint a stirring portrait about how grief is like the vaunted bird, hunting us in our time of loss, even tearing us to pieces in certain respects, yet releasing us to move on with life when the time is right.

Barfoot’s quietly powerful vocals soar amidst the passing images with grace and poise, eliciting the sensations within us as the listener and, as aforementioned above, the viewer with an ease that might belie the song/film’s heavy subject matter. It is also a wonderfully poignant example of just how impactful the combination of film and music are together, which is honestly how it should be when it comes to having the audience feel and experience what is being presented to the fullest effect, which to this reviewer, is what every artist in any medium should ideally be aiming to do in order to engage as wide a following as possible. In total, with its eclectic metaphorical imagery and presentation paired with Barfoot’s beautiful, folk-infused delivery, “Wise Owl” very much can stand firmly on the grounds of both short film and music video while showcasing again the talent to be found within the independent film arena.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!



Leave a Reply