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The Independent Critic

Emily Taylor, Emma Scherz, Jordyn Gehris, Alina Cecilia, Isabella Martorano, Savannah Spring, Olivia Fay, Olivia Moreno, Eloise Haas-Pride, Carly Jennion, Jordan Budney, Ann Marie Riccio, Kateryna Shevchuk, Giulio Pesci, Grace Narducci, Richard Lyntton, Kaila Landau, Lesia Bilynsky, Tyler Ivey, Andrea Cardoni, Kara McGee, Rachel Prettyman, Rohin Verma, Charlie Belle, Madelynne Juenger, Rosemary Fuller, Margaret Noonan, Rebekah Burrows, Tatyana Yassukovich, Carmen Chan, Sara Yin, Abby Wagner, Laurel Gabel, Lillie Turman, Elaina Cooper, Max Slusky
Rebekah Burrows
9 Mins.

 "Ad Meliora" a Heartbreaking, Beautiful Short Film  

Do you have a favorite human being? 

I know. I know. That's such a weird question. It's probably unfair. I suppose the word "favorite" isn't quite what I'm going for here, but there are just those people in life who seem to line up with the word "beloved." They're just part of who you are. 

My Goddaughter Victoria? She's like that. She's one of my favorite human beings and she's just part of who I am. When I think of the word "beloved," she's one of the people that I think about first. 

She's someone who made me want to make the world a better place for her from the first time I held her as an infant. 

She made me a better human being and I wanted the world to be a better place for her. 

I thought about her a little while watching writer/director Rebekah Burrows' Ad Meliora, an experimental short film that broke my heart yet inspired me with its simple, straightforward reflections on the struggles girls go through growing up in a male dominated society. 

These things she portrays? These are everyday life and they're real and heartbreaking and devastating and life-changing. They're powerfully brought to life by an ensemble cast that captures the essence of the material with tremendous, unforgettable accuracy. 

Elaina Cooper's original music provides a rhythmic bridge to everything that unfolds, while Burrows lenses the film with precision and occasionally uncomfortable intimacy. Jackie Hardin's editorial work is equally precise as scenes are allowed to linger on uncomfortable bodies, everyday scenarios, devastated faces, and the cyclical impact of a male dominated society ever so obvious. 

The vocal work here is for the most part solemn, the emotions being reflected in the mostly silent performances and in faces that tell the stories that words simply cannot tell. 

Ad Meliora, which translates to "towards better things," has been an official selection at several indie fests including Bahamas International Film Festival, Charlotte Film Festival, ARFF Barcelona International Awards, Best Shorts Competition, and The Women's Film Festival. It's the kind of film that deserves to be seen more often including at human rights/social justice fests and it would be a perfect film for any high school or college class dealing with women's issues. 

Recently released on June 6th, Ad Meliora is an involving, memorable work from an up-and-coming filmmaker and you can find out more about it by visiting its IMDB page linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic