Lemons [Simon Werdmüller von Elgg, USA, 2018]

The word ‘lemons’ is one letter away from ‘demons’, as the clever artwork for this film reminds us. When Edwin, a missionary from Knoxville, is invited into the home of a strange older woman, past trauma bleeds into the house as both characters confront their own elusive pain.

As the characters talk, uneasiness gradually builds up until Edwin discovers boxes of drawings abandoned in the attic. After he confronts Deborah, it becomes clear that there is a deep connection between them that stretches back to Edwin’s childhood, although what this might be remains unknown.

When life gives you lemons...

The obscurity of the pain that dominates this short is surely part of its intended effect, as the characters are clearly trying to reach something in the past that remains just out of grasp. Intelligent visual touches such as the fragmented shots of Deborah and the deep blackness of the half-opened box, gesture to something sinister lurking unseen.