Award Winning Short Film Shows the Power of Zelda and Escapism
Posted by Thomas Whitehead
Sad but brilliant
If there's one thing that video games very rarely do, if ever, it's to remind us of our everyday lives. While reading books, watching TV and more serve as a source of rest from our day-to-day existence, one of the game medium's strengths, that makes gamers love their hobby with such a passion, is the ability of some titles to truly immerse them in a fantastical experience; they're worlds that we can influence, dictate and affect through our actions. There are many reasons we play games, but we'd wager that escapism is one of the most important.
Not all games do that, of course, with some that are either just fun or challenging to play without necessarily absorbing us into their fictional world. The Legend of Zelda, however, is a series that does immerse many gamers, with fantasy and adventure so memorable that a new title in the franchise is still one of the biggest highlights on a Nintendo system. Mario may be where the money is, but The Legend of Zelda arguably excites like no other.
It's no surprise, then, that it features in a short film called Escape, written and directed by Kennedy J. Baruch and winner of the student shorts competition at the 2012 Asian Film Festival of Dallas. In this case a young girl called Danni enjoys the fantasy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on GameCube. The strength of this film is in the context, however, as Danni is shown to be struggling at school with no friends and then going back to a breaking home, with the consistent background noise of arguing parents. It's a touching portrayal of a lonely and difficult childhood and the escapism that a video game offers.
We must warn that this video tackles difficult themes such as psychological bullying, and also includes some swearing and one brief moment of simulated violence in the home. That said, with an emotive performance from the lead actress, Bella Porter, this is a high-quality short film that's worth watching.