Dawn. A baby breaks the silence.

Genre: Drama

Length: 03:54

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Iván Sáinz-Pardo,

Director/s : Iván Sáinz-Pardo, 

Writer/s : Iván Sáinz-Pardo, 

Actor/s : Josephine Ehlert, Roland von Kummant


New parents, aviod

Save has been selected for over 300 festivals worldwide, and won over 50 awards. Which says a lot about the impact of this very short film, and something about what festival judges like.

It certainly packs a punch in its four minute runtime. Jens works at his laptop, apparently ignoring the tiny baby bawling in the cot next to his desk. The mother, Martha, picks her up, and the baby calms. I tried to make her fall asleep, Jens says. Do we believe him? Does Martha? (Incidentally, it’s subtitled, but this hardly matters as there’s very little dialogue.)

Things get weird when Martha hands him the baby and goes off wordlessly to the toilet. He follows, and stands at the door – but Martha appears behind him. Then she emerges from the toilet, when we and Jens have just watched her walk with baby into the living room… It’s surreal. How did she do that? Is he suffering sleep deprivation?

The bigger question for festival judges was probably: how did the director Saintz-Pardo, do that? For Save is all filmed in a single shot, in spite of Martha having to be in two places at once. It’s cunning, like Inarritu’s Birdman. I can’t spot the splices. Does the loo have a back door?

The bigger question still, is for Jens and Martha: since neither of them now have the baby, where is she? Who’s watching her?

And now we see why this is as much a horror film as a drama.

Technique serves the story well, both the editing and the unhurried flowing camerawork. Not to mention the actors. All told it’s a concentrated chiller about not being in control, about trust, about the pervasive terror born like a twin with a new, vulnerable baby.

New parents, avoid.