Winner of the prestigious Illy best short film award at the 2018 Cannes festival, filmmaking duo Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas (The Rabbit Hunt) return to Short of the Week with their latest verité doc Skip Day. Inviting it’s audience to join a group of High School Seniors as they skip school the day after prom for a rites-of-passage journey to an upscale beach 60 miles from their home, Bresnan and Lucas use their ‘direct cinema’ approach to create a powerful short that subtly deals with issues of racism and teenage identity.
The third short film Bresnan and Lucas have made about the Pahokee community (The Rabbit Hunt & The Send Off completing the trilogy), Skip Day should be a film about celebrating a special day in the lives of these young adults as they prepare for one of the biggest transitions in their life, but there’s a sense of trepidation in the air that means it doesn’t quite feel like the party it should be. Add to this some uncomfortable reactions to the presence of this group by the other beachgoers and there’s an unusual tension to Skip Day that just adds to the many discussions to be had around the film.
We lauded The Rabbit Hunt when we featured it for creating a similar tension and again Skip Day feels comparable to this film in the way that it conveys a feeling of joy and sadness in equal measure. As a big fan of the verité approach when it comes to documentary filmmaking, for me what I love about this style is the self-reflection it allows and as always with films like this I would encourage you to let it wash over you and take from it what you want. Whether you decide to focus on the celebratory side of Skip Day or leave it with a pessimistic feeling, hopefully after watching it you will have learnt a little something about a community and a little something about yourself as well.
Patrick and Ivete are now working on feature documentary Pahokee, this longer project will once again aim to showcase this community and their everyday lives and is set to screen at Sundance in January 2019.