Two men of different ages meet for the strangest encounter of their lives.
His Hands is a beautiful film that will haunt the viewer for every moment of its thirteen-minute running time.
The cinematography and audio work is just as powerful as the moments on the screen between an older and younger man. Neither of who are named, in the confines of a home that feels like a prison, replete with shadows, though with what may be many valuable possessions. It’s disconcerting to not be sure about what you are seeing on screen, and that is the hallmark of this short film.
The audio throughout is powerful, accentuating every moment of the dialogue-free script and allowing you to draw your own conclusions as to the motives of both characters. Harsh sounds collide with gentle music to give a thoroughly unsettling auditory experience.
Stark contrasts in light and dark add to unsettling feel of the film, with shadows robbing us of many of the markers we would use to judge what we can see. Add to this the lingering close-up shots of eyes, lips, hands and other body parts, further frustrating our ability to piece together all the parts. The film has a perplexingly sensual, yet still quite distant, feel. It’s not a film where the camera is exploitative; the cinematography hints at desire, not feral lust.
His Hands masters the art of what is not seen. As the film progresses, there are hints of tenderness mixed with suggestions of something much less savoury, though we are left with many questions unanswered and, as the film makes its way to the closing credits, we know that something disturbing is taking place, but it’s just out of our reach as to what and the ramifications of what we are seeing.
The film has had considerable success in the independent film festival circuit since its release in 2018, including winning a number of awards around the globe. Now available, in the UK, US and Canada, on Amazon Prime Video, it’ll hopefully find the audience that it truly deserves.
Beautifully realised by Aaron Blake and Philip Brisebois, the only two characters on screen and with no dialogue between them, His Hands is an exceptional work from Arron Blake and Darius Shu, and all for a purported £400 and a team of three. Together, they have created a short film that is a wonderful work of art. Very much like a painting in a gallery, it’s up to the viewer to interpret what they have experienced and the darkness that may have been there.
Dir: Arron Blake and Darius Shu
Scr: Arron Blake and Darius Shu
Cast: Arron Blake, Philip Brisebois
Prd: Arron Blake and Darius Shu
DOP: Darius Shu
Country: United Kingdom
Runtime: 13 mins
His Hands is out now on Amazon Prime Video.