In a Time for Sleep (Short)
Writer-director Tofiq Rzayev has now found his way into the rotation of Sonic Cinema screener reviews five times in a little over a year, and it’s an impressive achievement that each film is unique while covering similar emotional territory. We start his new short, “In a Time for Sleep,” as a girlfriend (Goknur Danishik) is arguing, and feeling unappreciated by her boyfriend (Elif Barut). Although he told her to leave this morning, she decided to stay and fix him a nice dinner for when he got home, but he doesn’t appreciate it, and in fact, is downright hostile towards her. She just wanted to do something nice for him for their 1-month anniversary, but he scoffs at that notion, as well. She then says she will kill him, and he calls her on that threat, and gets his gun. He doesn’t think she has the guts to do it. He underestimates her, but the question is, can she handle the aftermath after she does it?
This is just the first few minutes of Rzayev’s 14-minute drama, with a big twist (although one can question how big of a twist it will turn out to be) turning the narrative on it’s head. This isn’t the story of a relationship that implodes, but about a woman (played beautifully by Danishik) who thought her life would be one thing, but finds it will be turning into something very different, and far more rewarding, through one unexpected twist of fate. Pain and love are very much connected in a lot of Rzayev’s films, and “In a Time for Sleep” finds probably the strongest, and most abstract, distillation of that connection, and it’s a powerful thing to watch.