Jon Reino’s short film Thinner Blood tells the story of Olive (Hayla Yanes), her sister Ava (Nasya Smith) and their abusive, alcoholic mother Loretta (Miranda Freeman). The two siblings, with Olive in the role of the older protector and supporter, and Ava painfully shy and near-mute, survive as best they can, even as matters at home get worse.
It’s an unflinching and tense almost nine minutes of cinema. Even when the sisters are free to relax momentarily, there’s never much rest as you never know when the next bout of abuse is going to come. Even though Mom may not always be there physically, her ominous cloud is ever-present.
Thinner Blood presents its tale with an honesty and reality of abuse that is unfortunately far too common. The film elevates its endeavor by showing that its purpose is not just to shock or give an honest portrayal of a painful subject, but to create a bridge, via film, for others in similar situations to respond, relate and, ultimately if necessary, move to action. In that way, it’s never exploitative so much as it is educational and inspirational.
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