Two Distant Strangers

Two Distant Strangers ½

0.5/5.0 = Notably Terrible

Note: I only review short films if they're nominated for an Oscar. I don't like the idea of publishing criticism on other short films.

Joey Bada$$ police brutality drama TWO DISTANT STRANGERS is easily the worst short film nominated for the Academy award since 2017s SILENT NIGHTS. Honestly, it may be the worst short film I've ever seen, full stop. This is totally irresponsible, careless, stupid, juvenile, and tactless filmmaking. I'm not the first to say this and I sure won't be the last, but just because a film stands on the right side of an issue doesn't mean it's good. In fact, it's somewhat of an obligation (both on the part of the film industry and the viewers) to acknowledge when a film about an important subject tackles it poorly, and TWO DISTANT STRANGERS is a textbook example of that.

"GROUNDHOG DAY but about police brutality" is not only a crass concept on paper, but completely misses the mark on what filmmakers should be striving to probe with films on this issue. We shouldn't make art that depicts a black man being repeatedly chased, shot, and choked to death unless that scenario is used to probe the problem: as it stands this is straight exploitation. The onus of this issue is not on the African Americans! We should be making art that dissects the systemic problems that have caused police officers to commit these horrible actions. If you merely film the violence but don't commit to a realistic dialectic on why American policing is so broken, you're exploiting the issue. This is what happens when a post-GET OUT audience doesn’t realize just how much grace and skill Jordan Peele puts into his writing. I have no respect for this movie. The Furbo product placement at the beginning just makes it all the more disgusting. Yuck!

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