Short of the Week: Last Looks

By Tiana Raimist-Carter

Do you ever think about the last time you’ll see someone? The final words you would say, or wouldn’t get to say? Departing with a smile, or a hug?

In her debut short film “Last Looks,” featured in Issa Rae’s #ShortFilmSundays, former University of Alabama TCF student Cierra Glaudé shows the harsh reality of those vulnerable last moments.

The short begins with a brief moment of suspense — what does the leading female character see? The location is decently unidentifiable, but with this first glance the film already gives the viewer plenty of information. This short will not have a happy ending.

As the story develops, layers are exposed. The other leading character, her younger brother, has an ongoing inner conflict. Bearing a black T-shirt exposing the 3 words- Artist. Creator. Threat., this man is an artist in black America. He invites his sister to a his show where he pours his soul into his performance and receives praise from the entire audience of sharply dressed afro-centric men and women at a bar.

We only hear a few lines, but it’s full of emotion. His pain, his sorrow, his regret— where does it come from?

“I never thought cancer.”

Those words strike a definitive chord with a lot of people, including me. Within nine minutes, this film portrays true feelings of loss, depression, loneliness and being black in America.

The siblings share a moment outside the bar before parting ways. The next few seconds, as she stands in the street and watches her brother bike away, are the most intense moments of the short.

“What are you about to do?” she asks.

What follows is the answer to every question, yet nothing verbal is uttered. In a moment of raw emotion, we find out he lost his daughter to cancer — his inspiration, his child. And we also find out he is in possession of a gun with a feeling of the world on his back.

“At least it wasn’t your good side” whispered the lead as she finished blotting foundation on his lifeless skin and laid her baby brother to rest.