Shorts: to be yourself or to fit the expectations of others

Each one of us has felt lonely before. In times like this, we are often overwhelmed by fear and self-doubt. If everyone has abandoned us, there just has to be a reason why. We are that reason. There is something wrong with us. That’s how we usually explain the phenomenon of loneliness to ourselves. Even though this explanation is far from the truth, it cannot be avoided in most cases, since it is a train of thought, which dismisses any chance of rational thinking. This kind of doubts are troubling Ollie in the short film Either – Or (6 May, 15:10, Cankarjev dom), which is one of the short films in this year’s Film na oko festival. Ollie only has one friend, that’s why he starts looking for answers to difficult questions, one of them being whether he is ill or just lonely.

The protagonist of the short documentary film Ninnoc (7 May, 15:00, Cankarjev dom), is also familiar with thoughts of this sort. Ninnoc is a girl, who doesn’t want to give in to peer pressure, but at the same time she is afraid that she will be condemned to solitude because of it. The most common form of preventing loneliness is adapting to others, but by doing so, you risk failing yourself. Thus, Ninnoc is torn between succumbing to the pressure of the society and freely expressing herself.

We cannot feel truly accepted, if we don’t show the world our true colours. If we don’t abide by other people’s expectations, we at least know that the people standing next to us accept us for who we really are. After all, there would be no progress in society without individuals who surpass the standards with their unique ideas. Some of the festival’s films feature people, who dare to stand up to the system. One of those is the Russian short film Who Is In Charge Here (6 May, 15:00, Cankarjev dom), in which we follow the story of a man, who doesn’t want to abide by the absurd rules that supposedly protect the residents.

An even more obvious example of the triumph of individualism is Cansu Gulal, a 13 year old rapper with the nickname Si-G, who is the protagonist of the eponymous documentary film (7 May, 17:00 and 8 May, 19:00, Pionirski dom) and who will visit Film na oko festival in Ljubljana, together with the director Frederike Migom. Cansu is a child with special needs and dreams of fame, in which even she herself doesn’t believe. When she joins a hip-hop class, where a famous rapper invites her to collaborate, her dreams start to come true.

Thus Si-G proves that we must persist even if we think nobody understands us. Maybe this is a sign telling us that we are on the right path. How many of us dream of being a rapper, an astronaut, an inventor or simply a revolutionary of any sort, but we don’t dare to express our dreams because they are not »conventional« enough? How many of us have failed ourselves because of the pressure of the society and deep down still carry a person others don’t know? That’s why we must pluck up the courage to express what we really are. Let’s not be chameleons that blend with the background and are invisible in a crowd of identical figures.

Author: Iris Silič


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