All These Creatures, the Palme d’Or winning film by the incredibly talented director Charles Williams, which has just won Best Short Fiction Film at the Australian AACTA Awards and is eligible to be considered for a 2019 Academy Award tells a emotional tale about an adolescent boy whose world is turned upside down when his father Mal’s begins to suffer from a mental illness.
The story is told through the eyes of the adolescent boy Tempest who acts as a voice-over throughout the film. From the moment you hear his voice, you can hear and sense the vulnerability. The camera shot of Tempest watching his father in the garden wondering around with a baseball bat, with his shirt slightly hanging off his shoulders, slowing walking through the grass as if he is trying to catch something captivates you, as you can already sense something isn’t right.
The times where Tempest’s father isn’t himself, those scenes are set at night, symbolizing the darkness that both Tempest and his father are going through. When Tempest thinks of the happier memories, daytime scenes support those scenes with the bright and light scenery of Tempest on his father’s back, playfully covering his father’s eye as they play together. These are the clearer days where everything made sense to Tempest, a clever tactic by Williams.
Yared Scott is fantastic as Tempest. He does an impressive job of taking you on a journey and he perfectly displays the emotions of fear and pain when he is faced with a version of his father he doesn’t recognize. You also witness him changing from a boy to a man, especially when he starts to accept his father’s illness and tries to figure out how he can help him.
Mandela Mathia Is impeccable as Mal. It is incredible how he changes from one person to another, not only does the film educate you about mental health but he does too as he accurately shows the changes in behavior, emotions, and personality when suffering from a mental illness.
This film opens your eyes to mental health and does a brilliant job of showcasing how it not only affects the person suffering from it but also how it affects everyone around them. It is no surprise that All These Creatures won the Australian AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film and the Palme d’Or. It will be a BIG disappointment if All These Creatures doesn’t get nominated and walk away with an Academy Award. Honestly, the best short film of 2018.