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By Alan Ng | June 15, 2021

As the coronavirus continues to play with our lives, there has been a progression of COVID-related stories. At the start of the pandemic, films addressed the fears of the spread of a deadly disease. A month or two in, the stories were about isolation and finding ways to stop the infection. As the world begins to reopen, writer/director Anthony Vander’s Finale ushers audiences into a post-pandemic world.

The dramatic short opens with two sisters, Alex (Anu Ogunmefun) and Brianna (Ama Dwaah), on a walk along an English city road. Alex is apprehensive about the trek, but Brianna has a surprise for her sister. Brianna has rented a private dance studio, and her gift to Alex is a chance to express herself once again through dance, specifically ballet. But after over a year of lockdown and isolation, is Alex ready?

“…her gift to Alex is a chance to express herself once again through dance…”

As much as Finale is the story of two sisters, it spotlights a few things COVID had taken away from us. First, it’s the ability to express oneself as the pandemic, for the most part, halted almost all forms of performance art. Potentially, Alex can dance once again, and Brianna returns to her violin. More importantly, it addresses those first steps to rejoining the world, and in a sweet video message from their mother, Alex and Brianna are encouraged to be bold and be there for one another.

Vander tells a reflective story of two sisters forced to talk about their fears and hopes as in real life, we transition to this next stage of human history. It’s a simple film without a lot of unnecessary frills. My only criticism is that I had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue between Alex and Brianna in the first act. Finale is the first sign of hope in what is hopefully the finale of this dark time.

Finale (2021)

Directed and Written: Anthony Vander

Starring: Anu Ogunmefun, Ama Dwaah, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

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"…the first sign of hope in what is hopefully the finale of this dark time."

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