Velour | Short Film of the Day

Short Film of the Day July 20, 2020


By Miranda Manziano with 6.9

drama · Short Films · english

If a short film is simply the portrayal of a moment in its characters' life, the choice of this particular moment by Miranda Manziano exhibits uniqueness and originality of thought. Velour opens on a note of calmness; it's morning and a woman sleeps in her pristinely white bed, wrinkled enough only to reveal the presence of its occupant. However, this sense of tranquility is disturbed, before the viewer becomes too comfortable, by the protagonist's screams into her pillow.

It is important to spend time allowing this image to sink in as the perfect harbinger of what's to come - a sincere engagement with trauma and the manner in which it comes to affect the life of someone who grapples with it on a daily basis. After the emptiness and the silence of her house, Valentina is introduced to the viewer as being a senior professional in a fashion house, a woman who is quite the opposite of what they might have been led to assume so far. This juxtaposition is especially interesting for it will serve to accentuate and amplify the sentiment and series of events that are about to follow.

The protagonist's struggle to overcome a traumatic experience of a sexual assault leads her to a dominatrix, Velour, introducing the audience to the premise of the film. Through the controlled interactions of its characters, the short film presents a relevant engagement with trauma, mental health, sexual violence, and progress just when things seem too bleak. While growth and recovery might not follow a linear trajectory, there is indeed something to be said about the hope and motivation to never give in, to forever keep pushing instead of succumbing to the darkness, and it is in this reminder that the film acquires all its power, foregrounding the experience of a survivor who is more than what her trauma often threatens to reduce her to, and who is perhaps finally on the path of overcoming and vanquishing the darkness within once and for all.
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