Last night I went to see the Oscar-nominated short movies. I'm always a bit wary of these things; you never know what you're going to see. But I was pleasantly surprised by all of them. None were objectionable, though some were hard to watch. I have tried to avoid any spoilers in my reviews below.
Ave Maria humorously explores faith and ethnicity through the experience of an observant Jewish man who accidentally wrecks into the statue of Mary at an Arab Catholic convent in the West Bank. He tries to get the help of the nuns to get back into Israeli territory before nightfall.
Day One is a gut-wrenching movie about a female Afghan interpreter working for the US Army in Afghanistan. It focuses on the cultural dimensions of the conflict rather than the fighting itself, and the director, who served there in 2009, says the movie was inspired by the interpreter who worked with his unit.
Everything Will Be Okay was hard to watch, but I think it says something important about the Western world's approach to family and the casualties of that approach. I can't think of much more to say about it that doesn't give something away, and I'm glad I saw it cold. That said, the woman I saw these with did not care for this one at all.
Shok is about two Albanian boys who are close friends and how they react to the Serbian occupation of their town in Kosovo. It is very well done, but it is not a mood-lifting film.
Finally, Stutterer ... Like Everything Will Be Okay, I feel that if I say very much about this movie, it will spoil it. It is about a typographer with a severe stutter, it's good, and I'm glad I saw it.
UPDATE: I've edited my comments on Shok and Stutterer to make them a bit more descriptive. I don't think I've spoiled anything.
It looks like these will be available on the various streaming services on February 23.