During my time at the Iris Prize Festival I was lucky enough to be able to see a few of the competition winners, which includes ‘Best British Short’, and ‘Best International Short’, to name a few.
We Love Moses
Until last year’s astonishing ‘Moonlight’, it is safe to say that black, gay masculinity was a subject rarely explored in film. At least, not with the sensitivity and power that ‘Moonlight’ managed to convey it with. When a film like ‘We Love Moses’ comes along, then, it feels like a significant event in that it, too, does what many movies refuse to do and tackles the issue of both race and sexuality, and questions the way in which these subjects fit into our perceived ideas of manhood. Told from the perspective of twelve-year-old Ella, a girl raised on an estate in South London that has already seen and experienced far more than any child should, ‘We Love Moses’ focuses on the relationship between the narrator’s older brother and the titular Moses; the most popular boy in school. In Ella’s world, being anything other than ordinary is a dangerous thing, especially if one is admired. This is a world in which bullying is rife, and reputation dominates. A fall from grace could be calamitous, and it could even alter the entire direction of a life. When Ella discovers her brother, Michael, and Moses engaged in a situation that could surely only lead to disastrous consequences if made public knowledge, the futures of all three are forever changed. The remainder of the short, following said discovery, is a contemplation on the impact that an outing can have, and the ways in which public image overtakes, and controls, individual happiness.