9th JUNE 6PM
Kobudai is a brave film; utilising an all-female cast, set on a remote island that worships an ocean deity with every member hoping to be sacrificed to him, there’s a lot to admire about this fantasy-infused short. Almost entirely silent, the film relies on beautiful cinematography and direction in place of dialogue, yet still manages to tell a clear and concise story. Writer/director India Casson has spoken of being influenced by The Wicker Man, Apostle and The Village, all films dealing with isolated communities that contrast against city-dwelling standards. Kobudai feels like a worthy descendant from these texts, whilst still having something new and exciting to add.
The original inspiration for the film came to India when she visited an aquarium and spotted a particularly striking fish that are all born female, then the strongest becomes male and breeds with the others. Knowing this sheds greater light onto the latter half of the film, which can be said to lose some of the silent coherence of the beginning. The set-design and world-building of the piece are effective, allowing us to slip into this island community and understand its residents as if we ourselves were one. Kobudai is going to be presented to various film festivals over the next few months, and I believe that in that time it’ll find a lot of appreciation on the independent circuit.