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In Mandy Wu’s film, the city presented seems like it never sleeps. ShenZhen is a fast-growing young city with thousands of young people fighting for their dreams. This is a perfect place for a young graduate to pursue a career and follow her dreams. The only thing that interferes with her plan is her harsh boss who never seems satisfied with her work. As time passes, she realizes her boss is very talented and devoted to the career and never letting people think she is vulnerable. One day, coming back from a client meeting, on the back seat of the car, she overhears her boss' telephone conversation and begins to understand her inner self. The message of the story is, of course, not to judge a book by its cover. In this case, the boss, even though it looked like she was hard as a rock, her mellow soul rises when she thinks about her kid waiting home every night to spend some quality time with his mom.

This short movie is categorized as a drama, but we don’t quite agree with this distinction. It is more of an inspirational video, a Zen-Buddhist folktale transposed to the twenty first century and put on film. The acting is very good in this context, depicting with great ease the two social categories the main actors belong to. The boss is presented as luxurious and grand whereas the employee is submissive and silent.

The score of the short is very good and adequate, being in a little bit of contrast with the lifestyle presented with everything developing so fast; the music therefore keeps the ambiance to a certain human level. Frankly, we really missed having in our festival short movies like this one: telling a story with a brief message in a powerful yet compressed manner. ‘Back Seat @ 10 PM’ is a short motivational movie you shouldn’t miss in a festival. 

Written by Vlad A. G

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