Gloria Eterna (2017)

A man eagerly awaits his long-hoped for promotion. He is nervous, but he also has his doubts.

 

Set in a dystopian parallel reality, and featuring a society that seems to be based on a mixture of Orwell’s 1984, Lang’s Metropolis, and a television quiz show, Gloria Eterna contains a wealth of social criticism which can be interpreted in various ways. The story seems to highlight the absurdity and eeriness of the totalitarian state, as well as of hero-worship. And the question arises whether the sacrifices one makes in order to become a “hero” are worth it, and if people in years to come will really appreciate those sacrifices – or will rather perform a perfunctory, hollow form of hero worship.

You could, however, equally apply many of these criticisms to corporate capitalism, and ask the question whether a stellar career and “giving it all” for the company are really worth the sacrifices in your family life.

 

Gloria Eterna is a highly accomplished, “polished” short film which shows all the talent and vision of its director, Yimit Ramírez. His first feature film project, Qhup – Quiero hacer una película, is currently causing quite a stir in Cuba and is meeting considerable resistance by the authorities – a conflict which culminated in the Firmo Soy Cardumen declaration.

 

It is impressive how Ramírez and his screenwriter Julia Scrive-Ioyer manage to put all the world-building and all the human drama into a mere 12 minutes, without any of it feeling rushed or too short. The actors are very good as well, especially lead actor Mario Guerra.

Another interesting element of this short film is the design of its sets and props, for which art director Pilar Natalí Cardet was chiefly responsible. The stylistic ingredients of the film do, however, also include short, fascinating bits of animation by Ramírez himself.

Rating: 8.0 to 8.5 out of 10

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