Fun Factory

As part of the Love Europe Project, Lisa Brooke Hansen and Even Hafnor’s Fun Factory addresses the ever-changing multicultural world around us and the subtle emasculation of the Caucasian male.

Our story takes place at a “Chuck E. Cheese” indoor-amusement park locations in Norway. Sitting at one of the lunch tables is a Norwegian couple (Janne Heltberg, Tobias Santelmann) as they witness a customer complaint involving a cashier (Julija Salaseviciute) and two Muslim mothers (Shamsa Issa Abdi, Farhia Mohamed).

The mothers are complaining that the cashier sold her children the snack known as Bacon Crisps. The mothers are demanding a refund because the children are not allowed to eat pork, but because the kids opened the package, the cashier cannot issue a refund. This interaction is essentially a circular rabbit hole. The three get caught in an endless loop where they’re just arguing the same points over and over again.

“The three get caught in an endless loop where they’re just arguing the same points…”

Meanwhile, our Norwegian couple is complaining to one another about how a family venue like the Fun Factory can even sell something like Bacon Crisps because it’s loaded with “harmful chemicals.” The husband Googles and confirms their suspicions that said Bacon Crisps doesn’t even contain bacon or pork products. The wife insists that he go over and insert himself into the conversation and let them know the kids did not ingest any pork. The husband refuses, stating it’s not safe to get involved in an argument involving three women. Questioning his masculinity, the wife goes over, and she is quickly shut down and asked not to interfere by the mothers. The wife goes back and berates her husband again for not getting involved.

I love this short in that it pokes fun at this superior “woke” attitude we so joyously embrace in Western culture. It’s this idea that while pork is considered forbidden by Muslim culture and religion, the Norwegians are more horrified by the chemicals and preservatives. The humor comes from the juxtaposition of these two ideas. Then there’s this need for the “woke” to insert themselves into the conversations of strangers and their further insistence when ask to butt out.  Finally, there’s the outrage we place on others when they just don’t care as much as we do. All this is pulled together into a hilarious short film based on awkward situations we put ourselves in.

Fun Factory (2019) Written and directed by Lisa Brooke Hansen, Even Hafnor. Starring Janne Heltberg, Tobias Santelmann, Shamsa Issa Abdi, Farhia Mohamed, Julija Salaseviciute. Fun Factory screened as part of the Communications Breakdown block at the 2019 Palm Springs ShortFest.

8 out of 10 stars

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