“For those who wait, a moment seems like a lifetime.” This is the message director Jermaine Encarnacion has decided to put forth within his film “Possum” and I don’t think it could be anymore beautifully illustrated.
“Possum” deals with the importance of kinship between loved ones, whether it’s between family or friends. We open with home movie footage of little Joseph and his big brother Allen playing basketball and engaging in general jackassery. Running narration informs us that both boys’ parents have died and they’ve been left to fend for themselves and they do, as brothers and as best friends. But Allen is driven out of town due to some trouble he got himself into, leaving Joseph alone without much notice.
We fast-forward several years to a teenage Joseph who is living with his grocery store workmate Turtle and Turtle’s father and grocery store owner Tony. Still putting his life on hold (playing possum) and waiting for his big brother’s return, Joseph is surrounded by others who suffer from the same kind of longing. Turtle wishes to have a best friend and tries to find one in Joseph, but Joseph is too wrapped up in pining away for his lost brother. And when Tony’s long lost brother suddenly reappears to beg for money, his soft side is revealed as well. And as far as Turtle and his old man go, they hardly even acknowledge each other.
So, walls are drawn up around each character; every one of them waiting for someone else to take the initiative to not only show emotion, but to make things happen for themselves.
“Possum” is truly a great film. I expect to see more great things from Jermaine Encarnacion very soon.
“Possum” can be found on “The Best of the Acapulco Black Film Festival Short Film Collection” DVD.