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Film Review: Home Education (short film) (2016)

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SYNOPSIS:

An authoritarian mother and her inquisitive daughter keep their father/husband’s corpse in the attic, convinced that if they show how much they care for him, he’ll no doubt come back to life soon. That is, until he begins to rot.

REVIEW:

More short films, kiddies! Today we have a film from The London Film School called HOME EDUCATION, written and directed by Andrea Niada.

Rachael (Kate Reed) is a young girl being home schooled by her overbearing mother Carol (Jemma Churchill). Rachael is an inquisitive and impressionable young girl, eagerly learning Carol’s strange lessons about the world. Things like bacteria are mammals that eat other mammals and the importance of cleanliness. You know, the important things.

Part of Rachael’s lessons also include preparations for her father (Richard Ginn) to return. He didn’t actually go anywhere, though. He’s up in the attic. See…he’s DEAD. But according to Carol, he’s just testing them to see how badly they want him back. So they spend their days reciting poetry to him to show their devotion and preparing the house for his celebration dinner.

Yea…not a psychologically healthy household. And as Rachael begins to question her mother’s knowledge and wisdom, things get a bit ugly.

The performances by Ms. Reed and Ms. Churchill are strong. They create a believable dynamic between mother and daughter, even as the events of the film cross into the realm of the bizarre. And it does get pretty bizarre, trust me.

This is a strange tale, to be certain, but a fascinating one. I suppose when one thinks about home schooled children, this is the sort of thing one tends to imagine: Parents indoctrinating their kids with strange and/or outdated ideas about the world. I would like to point out that I was home schooled, and no…it doesn’t ALWAYS go like this. Not to say it doesn’t EVER go like this, but I digress….

Using my special short scale of one to five, five being awesome, I’m giving this film 4 flies.

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