DIG (2023) Short Film Review – Packs a hefty thematic punch

Packs a hefty thematic punch

Like super-short stories, short films are difficult to get right. The format is so restricted that every single frame has to mean something. You can’t waste a single second, and as a result the editing process becomes almost as important as the storytelling.

DIG is a 7 minute movie that achieves a lot in a short space of time. The story is simple enough in premise but features layers of depth that peel away as the seconds tick by. A woman arrives at a secluded beach, desperate to find something she’s buried to bring closure over an incident that’s occurred.

I’m being intentionally vague about all of this because honestly, the best thing to do is just sit down and watch this one. At only 7 minutes long, it’s not exactly going to chew into your time and it’s one of the better examples of how to tell a good story in a short timeframe.

The story is poignant and moving, with a lovely reveal at the end that recontextualizes the entire journey up to that point. It also ties everything together with a very solid theme, which is juxtaposed beautifully with the visuals.

The colours used in DIG are largely why the film works as well as it does. Yellow is usually synonymous with hope and happiness, and seeing that used with a more negative connotation is actually a fascinating creative decision.

Likewise, the camera work in this is excellent and it harks back to what I originally said about not wasting a frame. While you still get the usual establishing shots followed by character focus, the shift here is much more organic, with a wide array of shots from overhead aerials and simple back and forth cameras, all used to give this a much more cinematic feel rather than a little indie project.

DIG is likely to receive plaudits on its upcoming festival run – and it deserves it. This is a thought provoking and moving short film, packing a lot of punch into a relatively short run-time. In a dour year for Hollywood, DIG is a reminder that there’s still talent left in filmmaking – but it’s largely on the independent circuit. This one’s a must-watch.

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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