Can one decision made by a starving child in the heat of a millisecond decide his fate forever? Such is the question Miguel Santana asks himself, and perhaps more importantly, us, in his premiere completed film, Still Falls the Rain.
Still Falls the Rain is a short movie— 7 minutes and 21 seconds to be exact— that reverberates with so much power that the shock of it will imbed itself in your heart and blood. Shot in two days, on a Red Epic with an Arri Ultraprime Lens, the movie speeds at the rate of a blitz, while at the same time it hovers torturously like a raindrop, ever so slowly making its way down a windowpane.
Santana’s story is seemingly simple— almost nothing—in terms of plot. It concerns an old man (Jeffrey Lippman, Sr.), flashbacks to his youth (Ben Walker), and the childhood decision he makes that forever alters his life and that of the cop (Clive Willbond-Hill) who chases him down a dark alley.
Written by Dame Edith Louise Sitwell in the year 1940, Still Falls the Rain is also a poem about the London Blitz during WW2. The work has intense religious and visual overtones, and Sitwell’s first stanza sets the scene for the hell that’s to come, in both her poem and Santana’s epic short:
Still falls the Rain—
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss—
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross.
Interestingly, Sitwell’s poem, written so long ago, and Santana’s movie, created in 2013, both bolt effortlessly beyond the grandiose themes of Christ and the Great War. They speak of mundane matters, like hunger pangs, choices, and the horrors of guilt. It is this universality, exempting none, that compels us to their gray areas, those spaces we call life.
As for Miguel Santana’s most brilliant little saga, created as a graduation project for the University of Hertfordshire (Eat your hearts out, filmmakers young and old!!!), I refuse to write another word. You’ll need to see Still Falls the Rain for yourselves, and make your own decisions, for better or for worse…
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