Hollow Pond [Rolfin Nyhus, UK, 2019]
Hollow Pond is an experimental short film from director Rolfin Nyhus and writer Adam Anson. It follows a young Masai boy who gets separated from his family and must find his way back to them whilst running from a mysterious and terrifying force.
Hollow Pond’s unique selling point is that the film attempts to recreate the Masai Mara savannah in a London suburb. It’s an ambitious undertaking for a short film and Hollow Pond succeeds mostly through the use of natural light as well as colour grading to bring out the greens and yellows in shots. All of this lends the film a strong sense of place, which itself turns to an atmosphere of dread and foreboding when the strange force starts pursuing the protagonist. In addition, there are some further interesting uses of colour during a black and white sequence with sudden splashes of red and blue grabbing your attention.
The primary theme of Hollow Pond is the historical and continuing influence and spread of Western culture throughout the world and how this can absorb or even replace other cultures. Interestingly, the film does not go out of its way to present this as a negative thing, simply as a fact of the world. Without wishing to spoil the surprise, this theme pays off rather cleverly in the final scene of the film.
Hollow Pond is the rare ambitious short film that lives up to its ambitions. It’s a visually rich and thematically compelling piece that’s sure to stick with viewers long after the credits have rolled.
‘Hollow Pond’ was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.