Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

Chosen (Short)

Grade : A Year : 2017 Director : Debra Markowitz Running Time : 14min Genre : , ,
Movie review score

I have no doubt that most people have had that moment in their lives where they were so unsure about their purpose in life, that they went, “Why do I go on living?” I know that I’ve had those moments, although they were fleeting, and never resulted in me acting on those feelings. I know other people in my life have. At these moments, we are at our most vulnerable- if someone told us that maybe, just maybe, we had a purpose, after all, in such a moment, what would we do? That is the type of moment that John (Arash Mokhtar) finds himself at in Debra Markowitz’s new short film, “Chosen.” A heroine addict, John finds himself in a sterile white room, on a hospital bed and with an IV in him being administered by a doctor, Zizi (Cathy Moriarty). It turns out that he isn’t just in any hospital, though- he’s being treated at the Vatican, who has run blood tests, and determined that he is the living descendant of Jesus. There are amazing coincidences in their stories, but John is just an addict who doesn’t have anything worth living for. What if he went along a different path, however. The doctor lays out some hard truths for him, and makes him think that maybe he does have a choice moving forward. Markowitz’s film reminded me of a couple of different films while watching it- “Dogma,” which also dealt with a reluctant distant relative of Jesus’s, and “The Last Temptation of Christ,” in which Jesus is uncertain of his purpose in life. “Chosen” takes themes from those films, but its approach is to simply show a conversation between Zizi and John Zizi is not someone simply “doing a job,” but has an emotional investment in seeing John live up to his potential, which makes his doubts all the more painful for her. This is a thoughtful, simple look on a big subject, and Markowitz makes every minute of the film’s 14 minutes count. It will be awfully difficult not to be moved by what she has to say.

Chosen (2017) Official Trailer from Debra Markowitz on Vimeo.

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