Directed by Marina Badía | Review by Antonio RozichAre You Shoveling Sand To Live, Or Living To Shovel Sand? It’s been more than a half a century since we dared to ask this great existential question, but what if someone shovels the hard sands of life never knowing they could’ve lived in the first place?
In just 5 minutes, director Marina Badía & writer Maite Uzal manages to cover all three scenarios in her short film Olvido. More than often having a talent isn’t enough to turn this talent in the foundation of your life, of whom you are and who you want to be. Olvido is a housemaid and a singer whose struggle to survive complicates her passion for living. This creates a massive chasm in who Olvido indeed is and what here choices in life are. On the one hand, she has to work to keep herself alive, but on the other side, she’s unhappy. She doesn’t want to be what she was forced to be just for the sake of survival.
What’s even worse in Olvido’s case & in similar scenarios is the fact our struggle disables us from progressing. We only have a certain amount of time per day and if that time gets wasted on survival instead of living; a simple yet hard question arises; what’s the point? If you work to earn money and you make money just to waste it on things that you do not intend to, then what’s the use of that? Like a hamster, why run this perpetual wheel? Just for the sake of running because that’s what society intended for us?
Sounds like a complicated topic, right? Something I could easily write a whole book about. Yet, it’s all about efficiency, turning complicated in simple and easily understandable. So, to successfully cover this in 5 minutes is a great feat. Badía & Uzal give constant small hints throughout the film masterfully. The mixture of love & hate is balanced perfectly. As Olvido sings and enjoys her current action, you can continuously see her evident contempt towards her work as a housemaid. As if she knows her role as a singer, although it’s real, it is more a dream than a reality. And she knows what awaits her as soon as she wakes up. Probably you do as well.
This brings us to the conclusion Olvido is aware of her current position; she’s angry as her life slowly brings her down with each passing day. Although not the most obvious, but certainly the real question is if Olvido is aware she can change this? Actually, let stop for a moment. Can she really turn it around? The trick to this answer isn’t observing Olvido. You don’t have to watch this short film to find the solution. All you have to do is observe yourself & where you currently are. Is there room for a change?
As time goes by and we get older, we slowly realize there’s less and less time to be used productively & most of us find peace with the fact. But finding peace with the fact we’re living just to shovel sand without any joy in it, doesn’t sound right. Let’s be honest for a moment. In any point of history, was there a person who found true fulfillment in sacrificing joy for this irrelevant thing called life?
While he isn’t writing for Cult Critic, Antonio Rozich is working as a copywriter for a filmmaking startup called Try Cinema. Besides his usual copywriting, he also helps filmmakers with their screenplays by editing them and finding the ways to improve the initial filmmaker’s idea. When all of that is done, he turns to his true & original love: writing flash fiction, which he posts regularly on his site Syeta Stories.