The communist era in Eastern Europe came up with some black and white movies that at first had only national importance, and we don’t know if "importance" is the right word to use here; those movies were a game changer in the soviet side of Europe, because, as we know, not many Hollywood productions made their way into cinemas. Eastern European filmmakers did their best to produce something that could be screened without creating any problems with the regime, and this particular technique of over thinking topics and making them party-friendly became a trademark. Stella Maris recreates an atmosphere we’ve seen mainly in movies made by Russian or Romanian filmmakers in a time when freedom as a concept was impossible to be fitted in art in general.
Kalainithan Kalaichelvan’s short film is a one of a kind piece in a time when most of the directors go for extreme CGI or wannabe psychological movies that in the end are just a waste of time. 'Stella Maris' brought us back to a time where true emotions and simple camera work were telling 90% of the story. The main actress, Joann Nordstrom does an impeccable role as a widow mother that finds her comfort in the hands of God. Her way of teaching Eli, her young son, manners and training him for a hard upcoming life is absolutely remarkable…but life isn’t always as expected, and a tragic event changes the whole course of the action. The clean steady shots are also enhancing the profound old school atmosphere that is by all means totally unpredictable. There has been a long time since we had in our festival a movie that was so visceral and at the same time so profound, keeping us connected from the first second till the last credit.
Kalainithan Kalaichelvan found a winning scheme and made the most out of it, giving the world a precious gem in the form of 'Stella Maris'.
Written by Vlad A. G