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By Mark Bell | April 10, 2012

Jim Haverkamp’s When Walt Whitman Was A Little Girl, based on a prose poem by M.C. Biegner, is just that: a fantastical tale of life for Walt Whitman when he was a little girl. And what an odd life it is, singing random songs, shooting potato guns with Abe Lincoln (with whom she shares a dangerous emotional connection) and watching people conduct interpretive dances in snow storms.

At times interesting, most often nonsensical, I’m going to have to admit that this one went over my head. I know little about Walt Whitman beyond the broad strokes, so I can’t say I have an interpretation about what reflecting upon him as a little girl could mean. I will say that I was shocked that Little Girl Walt was a Washington Nationals fan but, to be fair, I’m often shocked that anyone is.

I’m sure someone more learned than I will find something more to this short, and I enjoyed it well enough without really connecting on anything beyond a superficial level. It hits on certain basic criteria, looking and sounding good or unique and generally moving at an appropriate and appreciated pace for a short film, so I don’t really have any criticisms to lodge at it. A fine experimental narrative, that I’m sure will be embraced powerfully by those that appreciate the message, whatever it is, at its core. If you come up with an interpretation, let me know because I’m curious to hear what others may think.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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