Laurynas Bareiša’s Dummy is an exercise of masculine micro-aggressions set in the world of forensic crime. It’s a beautiful day in the nearby woods. A criminal returns to the scene of the crime with a vanload of police investigators in tow. Using a faceless dummy, the criminal is asked to reenact the details of his victim’s demise.
He starts by demonstrating on the dummy how he dragged his almost lifeless victim from the trunk of his car into the dense forest. He intends to ditch the body in the nearby lake by dragging the victim by the ears. Halfway there, he drops his pants and describes a lousy session of oral gratification as he binds the dummy’s arms and shoves its head to his crotch.
“…demonstrating on the dummy how he dragged his almost lifeless victim from the trunk of his car into the dense forest.”
The criminal’s actions are observed by five police investigators and one with a video camera. But this story is not about the crime, but it’s about the “boys club” that is law enforcement. One of the investigators is female, and she is the “odd one out.” She’s asked to drive the police van up a steep, muddy hill because she’s the lightest. She’s continually being offered help climbing over a log or walking through some thick branches. She’s also the only one taking notes and paying attention as the others will rely on the video camera footage later.
What Bareiša does in Dummy is take a typical task of a police investigation and pepper it with subtle slights against the “one” they had to bring along. Slight after slight, their actions build to a mind-boggling ending. The filmmaker follows the action well in the outdoor setting, and each aggression toward the investigator is masterfully designed to look subtle but stand out like a sore thumb. All of which adds to the reason to see this short, its all-important message.
"…it's about the 'boys club' that is law enforcement."