Just because you’re making a short film doesn’t mean it has to be small. That’s my first impression of director András Roder and screenwriter Nicole Vanden Broeck’s The Little Thief. It’s only three minutes long, and no shortcuts were taken.
As a child, I can relate to walking through a store and wanting something so badly that I considered lifting it. No one would know, right? Taking place long ago, the thief of the title is a young boy walking through an open market with his mother. The boy wants something. He looks around at his mother and the shopkeeper and lifts the very item that caught his eye, a kidney bean. No one saw him do it, and he gets away with it, but did he really?
“He looks around at his mother and the shopkeeper and lifts the very item that caught his eye…”
The Little Thief is a very brief tale, and Roder and Broeck efficiently tell the story of children and guilt. I did think it could have gone an extra minute to hit specific points or let the story breathe a bit more, but that’s quibbling. What I admire is the production value on display throughout the short. I’d describe the setting as a European street market in the 1930s or ’40s. Though it is shot on a sound stage, it looks authentic and very much like an actual street market, particularly when you look at the background of every single shot and angle. I appreciate that director Vanden Broeck went for it and took no shortcuts.
The Little Thief tells a good story for the family and looks good. You simply can’t beat this winning combination.
"…Broeck went for it and took no shortcuts."