The fine line between justice and revenge is explored in director Hisonni Mustafa and writer/star Lizette Hunter’s short film, Hermanita. A bitter Daniella (Hunter), recently released from prison, attempts to piece her life back together, working as a diner waitress. But, as Daniella is about to close up, her sister, Gaberiella (Jessy Bermudez), shows up out of nowhere.
Daniella is not happy to see her little sister again as the siblings have been estranged for quite some time. Daniella jumped ship because their stepfather, Manny (Jayson Rodriquez), was abusive. But, no matter what, their mother stayed with him. Now that Manny has been kicked to the curb, Gaberiella is there to hopefully pick up the pieces of their broken family. Unfortunately, Daniella will have nothing of her family until Manny’s abuse is confessed.
“…Daniella will have nothing of her family until Manny’s abuse is confessed.”
Hermanita is simply solid storytelling from start to finish. In short films, there’s a lot of information and character development that must be established quickly. The film opens with a minor confrontation between Daniella and her manager, Carlos (Jose Anthony), which immediately shows Daniella as a tough person worn down by her past. We’re immediately locked into her plight and there with her until the surprising end.
Award This! winner Hisonni Mustafa continues to mature as a cinematic storyteller. I love his color palette and use of light, especially the neon. It adds flavor and character to a diner set, considering that such restaurants are popular places for characters to chat.
Hermanita powerfully carries us along Daniella’s journey of justice, forcing us to consider just what it takes for a person to consider being a conduit of justice.
For screening information, visit the Hermanita Instagram page.
"…solid storytelling from start to finish."