MOON, produced in part by the Women In Media CAMERAderie Initiative 2020-2021, this short film written and directed by Toy Lei recounts the fantastic tale of a woman who suddenly wakes up on the moon, with no idea how she got there. As she walks her friend, to whom she’s telling the story to, through what happened to her, you can see that there is something she is working through. From the smoked salmon sandwich she’s eating (yes, on the moon, which is recreated wonderfully with both practical and rendered CGI green screen effects giving the movie the otherworldly feel it’s trying to convey), and the presence of a dog (also commonly referred to as man’s best friend, which comes into play later) as well. The character, Kate (played by Kelsey Gunn), tells the story with such nostalgia in her voice. Not like she’s telling someone about a place they went on vacation, but a truly treasured memory.

The other lead, Alex (played by Mousa Hussein Kraish) plays the role more like a therapist than as a friend at first, guiding Kate through the events that happened to her on the moon so that he can help her face the truth of what she’s dealing with under the surface of her repressed thoughts and emotions. There are subtle hints of mental health issues throughout the movie. It’s revealed that she’s dealing with Alex’s death, and her guilt about not being able to stop it. Kate also speaks of other trauma that happened to her, and the loneliness she suffers because of it.

The movie plays a lot with sense memory, and how things from the past stay with you. The sights, smells, and sounds of things can be as real to you now as they were back then. As the story comes to its conclusion, we find out that Kate tried to deal with her grief through attempted suicide. The entirety of the movie is her drug-induced hallucination of Alex and the pact they made when they were children. They’ll always be together through that pact, and he’ll always be there, on the moon, watching her.


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