HBO Max is showing a variety of short films directed by women now. I want to share two of them. Rosa is the longer at about 30 minutes. Beef is a mere 11 minutes. These films give you a preview of interesting women directors to watch for.
Rosa ships more than flowers
Rosa stars Jackie Cruz as Rosa and Hadi Tabbal as Ali. Rosa works in her aunt’s flower shop. On the side, she has an underground business shipping deceased undocumented immigrants back to their home countries for burial. Ali comes to Rosa for help getting his father back home and we see how her business works.
The problems arising from the deaths of undocumented immigrants is a new topic to me and one that I don’t think we’ve ever seen dealt with on screen before. With great cinematic economy, the film explores the risks, the networks, and the pipeline that must be in place in order to get people home at the end.
The film was written and directed by Suha Araj, a Palestinian-American filmmaker. Suha Araj’s website gives you more background on this film.
Beef is about generational conflict
Beef has nothing to do with meat. It’s about the defiance and strife between a high school girl (Melisa Peralta) and her teacher (Ruth Gabriel). This one is in Spanish and was filmed in Spain. The Facebook page is in Spanish, but you can figure out a lot of it.
The school girl, Melisa, wanted to be a rapper and her thoughts were on uploading videos of her rapping rather than on education and literature.
The reveal at the end was obvious from the beginning, but it was interesting getting to it. Ingride Santos Piñol directed Beef.
If you find other short films directed by women on HBO Max, please let me know in the comments so I can check them out.