Short Cuts 2023 Programme 05 is an interesting medley of stories showcasing people from different backgrounds experiencing loss. The two that specifically stood out to me were WOACA directed by Mackenzie Davis and Sawo Matang directed by Andrea Nirmala Widjajanto. These shorts start very pleasant. WOACA comments on the vanity of women in society and questions the consequences of stripping women of their physical beauty. The short opens with a woman (Sidse Babett Knudsen) doing her lengthy skincare routine. Once a large zit forms, she realizes that no matter what she does, she cannot prevent the inevitable. This zit takes away something this woman cares so deeply about. It is so mentally taxing that once she finally pops it, she frees herself from this incessant need to feel clean and beautiful.
Sawo Matang comments on societies turning on people. The short begins with a girl named Nala, (Anne Yasmine) who has an innocent crush on a boy in her class named Kai (Yesaya Mishael). When Kai approaches her asking her to perform black magic for him, she eagerly agrees. Kai to Nala is like the zit to the woman in WOACA, he takes from her until Nala loses her identity altogether. This short sadly contrasts with WOACA because Nala is never given freedom. The film is frustrating because it leaves viewers longing to free this girl who had so much potential and did not deserve the treatment she received. Both shorts are disgusting in their visuals but striking in terms of the message they relay about society.