Essays · Movies

This Short Film Connects Dozens of People Through One Simple Activity

By  · Published on April 8th, 2015

The Mercadantes spent a year gathering a diverse range of footage to build a short film out of something that connects all of us: breathing.

Breath is a non-narrative short comprised of people breathing, which may sound a bit Warholian in the worst way, but there’s a rhythm to the final product that builds an appreciation for something we all do thousands of times a day. A woman emerges from a lap pool, a middle-aged man snores in his sleep, an astronaut draws in oxygen from his suit while on a space walk. The short benefits from the fact that we breath is involved literally with every action we commit to.

The film also isn’t a randomized assortment. There’s a loose framework where groupings emerge, although the bulk of those connections might be more of a Rorschach test than anything else. Shots of people sneezing and coughing naturally jibe, but I’d imagine everyone who sees this short will come away having made connections between the scenes that no one else would think of.

The ending is also noteworthy. It acts as a larger note to end on than simply cutting to black after another shot of someone breathing, but it works thematically, too. All in all, this is a zen-like meditation. You might strain yourself if you try to think too deeply on it, but as a pleasant and mindful distraction, it definitely does the trick.

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