One rule of every fight is, first and foremost, to be prepared to lose because if you can cope with the idea of losing, you are one step ahead. 'Contrition' visually embodies this idea by presenting the life and struggle of two men trying to understand where the line separates life from desire. Gus (played by Darcy Laurie) and Louis (played by Ron Selmour) have just completed a diamond heist that brought an entire bag of precious diamonds to the table. This situation rarely goes as planned, and with this in mind, we see a double-cross between the men in charge, leaving one of them haunted by the other. PTSD hits hard, and every step seems to bring a bullet into the back of Gus' head. The stroll is painful, and when it finally feels like he is free and ready to cope with his past, Gus finds ultimate freedom.
Brandon Normon's work in 'Contrition' is worthy of sincere applause. Rarely do we have the chance to find a film that depicts the ultimate struggle of a man trying to escape his ghosts by running away from them. The pain can be felt in each frame of this short film, and as it evolves, the need for acceptance is transferred through the screen to the viewer's heart. We go on this mission with Gus, feel his pain, try to find redemption, and ultimately see the light alongside him. Of course, this could not have been possible without Darcy Laurie's compelling portrayal of the escapee who must find a path to transform his life in the end. Barely walking with the gun in his hand through the beautiful and peaceful landscape, the whole scenery depicts the perfect set for Johnny Cash's 'Hurt', a song that seems to fit perfectly with the film.
With all of this in mind, we can easily state that 'Contrition' is to our festival what 'The Revenant' was to Hollywood a few years back, bringing to the screen the struggle of one man to make things right in the end. (*and Johnny Cash continues playing)
Written by Vlad A. G