The Inner Side Review
By Ashley Maniw (JUly 31st, 2018)
Directed by: Dániel Reich
Written by: Dániel Reich
Produced by: FP Films, Péter Fülöp
Key Cast: Eszter Nagy-Kálózy, Zsolt Trill, Emília Szabó
For all of us, our inner worlds are as important as our external environment. While the external world is important for our daily lives and development, out internal worlds hold our secrets and the keys to our trues desires, wants and needs. The internal world can sometimes be more important than anything else going on around is. That’s the case in Dániel Reich’s short film The Inner Side.
Reich’s main character, Domi, is a 33-year-old man with autism. His mother sadly narrates their life with Domi. She finds it difficult to connect with her son because he’s so much in his own world. Domi’s inner world is built on his love of books. While his father can't cope and becomes an abusive alcoholic, Domi’s mother continues to try to find a way to connect with her son – enter Domi’s psychologist Aliz, who tries to use Domi’s love of reading to open the door to his inner world.
The film is also a moving tale of a mother and her child - of wanting to protect and connect with your child even when it seems impossible. Autism often creates a barrier for connection because the characteristics of the disorder make social interaction difficult. However, psychology and therapy do help make it possible to transgress breakdowns in communication and to help establish new connections. It’s a huge topic that can’t be covered totally in one short film, but Reich still manages to create a hopeful, optimistic movie about the power of communication and what it means to open up our inner world to those around us who want to understand. Reich takes the spirit of communication and shows how it is possible to bridge the gap in understanding.
But in order to get that understanding, we have to live in someone else’s shoes for a while. When direct communication isn’t an option, sometimes the only way to connect is to get into someone’s head – to live in their internal world and find a way to see the world as they see it. Or to help them create a space in the external world that directly relates to what makes them comfortable in their own mind.
Visually, The Inner Side is a stunning short film. Director Reich is an accomplished cinematographer and it shows. Every set in the film from the family apartment to Domi’s inner world, is beautifully shot, wonderfully imagined and full realized. Domi’s world and his imagination is really the stand out piece in this short film - Reich creates a convincing landscape of the freedom and openness that literacy can create in our minds. It’s dream-like and whimsical, but also highlights the beauty of nature and the natural world – wide green pastures, lush trees, the sound of birds singing.
A mind can be a prison or it can be an escape – sometimes, it can be both. Reich’s film highlights the importance of real communication that not only expresses ourselves but also allows us to understand others. Sometimes, it’s not about forcing someone to hear you, as Domi’s father tried to do to his son. You can’t always yell and scream until someone hears you. Nor is it about pleading, like Domi’s mother. Sometimes the best way to communicate with another person is to just sit back, watch them, learn what’s important to team and find a way to connect with them on their level instead of trying to force them on yours. With its messages on human connection and beautiful camera work,The Inner Side is a short film worth watching.
- Ashley Maniw