PEPPER **** Canada 2019 Dir: Kate Felix. 7 mins
Toronto-based poet / writer / director Kate Felix has made a name for herself with her short and slash fiction, and now filmmaking – having earned festival plaudits with 2018’s THE RIVETERS, an assault on 1940’s patriarchy. PEPPER revolves around a condescending, ageing farmer who hires a downtrodden young woman for odd jobs, starting by looking after his “dog” Pepper. Unfolding against a creepily sparse, evocative backdrop, this vision of an oppressive, fucked-up patriarch incorporates horror movie harbingers (an unseen stranger warning “Get out!”) and unsettling use of sound design (you won’t forget the whistle). It’s extremely well acted and boasts a suitably grim twist and a haunting final shot.
Review by Steven West