Displacement Welcomed is a short film directed by a US independent director, Evan Kidd. The narrative space is the friendship between a homeless woman, Norma, and the protagonist Skylar, a young seemingly well off photographer just back from Finland.
Skylar befriends Norma when she takes a photo of her and then they start a dialogue about their lives in a very open and real way. While Norma displays obvious problems living on the street, Skylars hopeful innocence also belies family dysfunction and loss.
This film has some really great ingredients – simplicity, realistic relational themes, and some really spectacular script writing. Above all there is a theme of being stuck as opposed to overcoming your troubles, whatever they may be. The character of Skylar puts forth a really hopeful and positive worldview.
Although the idea of a middle class American helping a homeless person does come across as obviously written from the perspective of another middle class American who thinks about the poor, namely the director Evan Kidd, it seems to me. But with great writing, and then moments of acting by Avery Hobbs, as Skylar, this short film manages to pull it off in a poetic and moving way, a way that is charming, disarmingly honest, and hopeful. In a line of dialogue Skylar speaks to Norma that perhaps is indicative of the ambition towards hope in this film “You have more control than you think, finding something better than where you’re at.” And the entire ending monologue by Skylar is worthy of putting on your wall. So worthy I’m going to quote it in my review anyway “We see bad things every day, wrong things, but we have our own stuff too. We’re only searching for our answers to our questions, but, searching for a different question, even if we get it wrong – it’s still an answer – something I didn’t have before.”
Minus maybe one star from the review for the still developing hit and miss acting we would probably expect anyway from an amateur short film, although Avery Hobb as Skylar shines at moments. And it’s sitting at four stars for my review. In an age of many grand artistic gestures and blockbuster budgets, this short film based on a friendship between two persons is refreshing.