HOLLYSHORTS 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Charlene Bagcal’s Bury Me Not is a western that deals with strong female leads and racism while having great production values. A sheriff rides into town looking for answers after a murder has taken place, and a colored man is suspected to be involved.
For roughly 11 minutes, an intense interrogation takes place. The sheriff (Eric Feliciano), who happens to be the former brother-in-law of Ingrid (Jul Kohler), who he believes to have had involvement in the murder of his brother, is almost in a mental game of chess, waiting to see who makes the first wrong move. As the film moves forward, secrets are being uncovered in what seems like real-time to the viewer. It is unpredictable how the story will play out, and there is a feeling of anxiety about what is going to happen next.
“…involvement in the murder of his brother, is almost in a mental game of chess…”
Bury Me Not is reminiscent of the opening scene of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, which is an intense interrogation scene of a man helping a Jewish family hide from the Nazis. Some derogatory racial terms are used. Still, in defense of the screenwriters, I believe that the words were more of historical authenticity in the way some spoke in that time, rather than a malicious intent from the writers. The sheriff’s racist view can be something that turns viewers off from the movie, but it is also used to make the climax come as more of a shock than anything.
The production of Bury Me Not is something that clearly stands out from the jump. From the setting to the quality, it is very impressive to see a short film give the feel of a full-length Hollywood western. Stars Ellie Araiza and Jul Kohler also wrote the film, and they delivered in both roles. I love westerns and wish there were more of them out there, and Bury Me Not makes the case that there definitely is still room for more.
Bury Me Not screened at the 2020 Hollyshorts Film Festival.
"…to see a short film give the feel of a full-length Hollywood western."