Hallelujah Image


By Bradley Gibson | October 18, 2022

Writer-director Victor K. Gabriel’s powerful dramatic short Hallelujah tells the story of two brothers in Compton, CA, in a moment of crisis. They are faced with the challenge of suddenly having to decide whether to accept guardianship of their young niece and nephew, Lila (Mariah Aaliyah Pharms) and Hallelujah (Stephen Laroy Thomas).

Paper (Bruce Lemon) and Chetty (Richard Nevels) are young men seemingly still in the carefree early phase of their adult lives. As such, they are reluctant to embrace the burden that tragic events have placed on them. Hallelujah is a studious boy, quoting his father’s favorite books from memory. Lila is his quiet, sweet little sister. Hallelujah seemingly gives in to despair as it becomes clear the older uncles aren’t going to be enthusiastic caretakers.

“…two brothers…faced with the challenge…to accept guardianship of their young niece and nephew…”

The story explores the consequences of casual violence in a violent place. We know Hallelujah will grow up hard, being an intellectual coming from difficult beginnings, but we hope the best for himself and Lila. The key unknown for whether those good outcomes are possible will be whether Paper and Chetty find it within themselves to do the right thing.

Gabriel masterfully packs a lot of punch into all 12 minutes of Hallelujah. He allows audiences to understand the situation and backstory quickly while setting the stage for sterling performances.

Hallelujah (2022)

Directed and Written: Victor K. Gabriel

Starring: Bruce Lemon, Richard Nevels, Stephen Laroy Thomas, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Hallelujah Image

"…masterfully packs a lot of punch into all 12 minutes..."

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