Akibet (Aftermath) (Short)
Written and directed by Tofic Rzayev (with translation to English subtitles by Erdogan Ulgur), “Akibet,” or “Aftermath,” shows us, in a scant eight minutes, a painful look at a brother and sister as they try and cope with the loss of their parents. We don’t know what they have died from, and we don’t need to know. The point is, it has left both children searching for answers for how to move on. For the sister (Gizem Aybike Sahin), she finds solace in thinking of them looking down on her and her brother, and trying to go through their stuff (always a difficult ordeal). The brother (Berkan Uygun), however, lacks that optimism about the idea of an afterlife, and is more of a shell. He snaps at her sister to wake up to reality, but grief hits people in different ways, and this only adds salt to the wound his sister is trying to nurse.
There isn’t a lot of time to develop a narrative, but Rzayev is focused more on engaging us emotionally than narratively, and “Aftermath” is a deeply emotional experience, especially if you’ve ever experienced deep anguish about the loss of a loved one. Even if you haven’t, though, you probably know people who have, and probably noticed that fundamental truth about grief. It’s hard for us all, and if the wrong thing is said, it’s impossible to live with. “Aftermath” hits home in a very real way.