Ready to put that philosopher’s hat on? I’ve got a short film to wrestle with in Lilia Le Dieu and Konstantin Pivovar’s Breadcrumbs. Set like a mini-play, a man referred to as C (Patrick Merveille) knocks on the apartment door of a man known as P (Mike Ossedryver). C states that he has mismanaged his food and is unable to feed his children until more is available, so he asks P if he can spare any excess bread.
As P hems and haws, C refers to P’s egoist nature regarding charity at which P takes offense. Finally, C explains to P that giving C his bread is not charity but a selfish act to soothe one’s ego or atone for one’s past sins. Now the debate begins, and it is ultimately decided that a good act is a good act regardless of the motive, and P gives C his bread.
“…he has mismanaged his food and is unable to feed his children…”
As P is on his way to work, he finds a note in the elevator stating that C had knocked on every door of the apartment building and NO ONE gave him any food. Incensed, P storms to C’s apartment and confronts him about the false accusation.
As stated before, Breadcrumbs is more a philosophical debate as opposed to a narrative about charity. The conversation has the neutral tone of a debate with only slight hints of passive-aggression between the two characters. If you like thinking… better yet, if you like being challenged, Le Dieu and Pivovar’s film is one to seek out. It will make you uncomfortable. It might even make you angry. But that’s the point of debate—to have your closely-held viewpoints challenged.
As I’m writing this review, it dawned on me that Breadcrumbs is not really about charity, but about race relationships as C is black, and P is white. So is white compassion toward the black community genuine? Or is it to appease white guilt? Hmmm, watch this little gem.
"…watch this little gem."