Saturday, May 02, 2020

Short film: Fresh Blood (Taaza Khoon)

This 2017 film was directed by Richa Rudola and is around 8-minutes long. It starts with a lullaby being sung, with the screen black. The song ends with a gasp and we see, by the water’s edge, a man (Vishwas), who seems pained and whose hands are shaking. The film follows him as he walks down a street. He looks into fenced off yards, at dustbins, and he shakes gates.

He stops by a butcher’s shop and we can see him looking longingly at the meat inside and then we see him in an alley, again looking through bins. He hears a squeak and becomes more animated in his search and then pauses as he finds a used sanitary towel. However, raised voices cause him to back away from the area – though he stands at the alley entrance, looking in.

Nashwa Zaman as the girl
A madam (Nikki Chawla) and one of her girls (Nashwa Zaman) barrel out of a doorway, the girl is berated by the madam and when she says she never wanted to come to America the Madam pointed out that she should have said that to her father as he counted his money. It is clear she is the victim of sex trafficking and the madam references the debt owed to her and threatens to burn the girl’s passport before, eventually, telling her to get ready for her next client and leaving her in the alley.

The man approaches her and gives his coat… But what will he do to this lost soul and would the attention of someone she recognises as a vampire be worse than the life she leads? The recognition is intriguing, tied into familial stories, we see no-outward defining features when his fangs are retracted. His face seems gaunt, perhaps, and he is clearly pained but she knowingly sees something that we infer through genre knowledge. The portrayal of the vampire is neatly done in this, it is clear that he is not living a grand life and the surfing of bins, the shaking of his hands and the inability to afford the meat he covets all play to this. The use of the lullaby is really effective.

the vampire and the girl
I have posted the links to the Amazon Prime video pages (US and UK) but director Richa Rudola is also part of The Future of Film is Female, which produce, exhibit, and promote women-directed films. They are holding a streaming festival and Fresh Blood will be available to stream on the 5th May 2020. Catch their streaming films here.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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