There’s a moment in the movie Witness when Harrison Ford kills the baddie (not Danny Glover) by trapping him in a grain silo. This is a real thing. Since 1964, almost 1,200 people have literally drowned in grain silos across the U.S. farmland. Director Marshall Josh Burnette’s short, Silo: Edge of the Real World highlights the danger of “grain entrapment.”
Burnette tackles the issue in an interesting way. Rather than flash images of death or horror, he presents a coffee-table book of farm life. We take a journey through a granary on top of a truck. We eavesdrop on a silo rescue training meeting, and we see what’s left of a silo after an emergency hatch is cut. It is clear Burnette labored to find the most interesting shots and angles. The images are beautiful, haunting and cinematic.
“Since 1964, almost 1,200 people have literally drowned in grain silos across the U.S. farmland.”
Second, amidst the danger in the silo, Burnette presents a world in middle America that is often forgotten by us East and West Coast urbanites. Families that have worked on the farm for generations and will continue to work here for generations to come. In a single moment, life stops for an entire family with one step into a silo.
Short films are an effective tool to raise awareness of little-known dangers that seem small in our personal world, but big to those directly affected by the tragedy. Silo: Edge of the Real World is a beautiful, yet chilling look at the real dangers of farming.
Silos: Edge of the Real World (2017) Directed by Marshall Josh Burnette. Starring Clay Althoff and Adam Fox.
4 stars out of 5