• Country: United Kingdom
  • Initial release: May 27, 2021
  • Film Director: Em J. Gilbertson
  • Running Time: 25 Minutes
  • IMDB Grade: 7.4

This article is dedicated to exploring the captivating short film “Requiem” directed by Em J. Gilbertson, which immerses viewers in a world of love, witch trials, and revenge set against the backdrop of the 1605 witch trials. Join us as we delve into the compelling story, talented cast, and the impact of this powerful film.

Synopsis: A Love Story Shrouded in Darkness

In the year 1605, amidst the fervor of the witch trials, “Requiem” takes us on a journey of love and revenge. The story centers around Evelyn, the daughter of Minister Gilbert, who finds herself entangled in a forbidden romance with Mary, a woman she deeply loves. As their relationship intensifies, they become the targets of their oppressive community, forcing Evelyn to navigate a dangerous game of cat and mouse against her own father. When Minister Gilbert uses his power to condemn Mary as a witch, Evelyn rallies the women of the village to seek revenge.

The Filmmaker’s Vision: Em J. Gilbertson

Em J. Gilbertson, a talented writer and director from Liverpool, brings their unique perspective and creative vision to “Requiem.” Gilbertson’s previous works have explored themes of gender roles and assimilation into perilous environments, but with “Requiem,” they aim to delve into the exploration of non-binary identities and the pursuit of freedom. Drawing upon personal experiences, Gilbertson crafts complex queer characters that delve into the depths of the human condition. Their passion for integrating dance, spoken word, and music in innovative ways shines through in their work.

A Stellar Cast Bringing Characters to Life

The cast of “Requiem” brings depth and authenticity to the characters, allowing viewers to fully immerse themselves in the story. Bella Ramsey, known for her exceptional performance in “The Last of Us,” delivers a compelling portrayal of Evelyn, a young woman grappling with her homosexuality in a time of societal repression. Safia Oakley Green shines as Mary, capturing the desperation and longing to escape with Evelyn. Together, Ramsey and Green create a powerful on-screen chemistry that draws viewers into their tumultuous love story.

The Setting: A World of Repression and Witch Hunts

Set against the backdrop of the 1605 witch trials, “Requiem” explores a time when fear, bigotry, and the subjugation of women were rampant. The film skillfully depicts the oppressive nature of the community, where Evelyn and Mary’s love is viewed as a threat. In this puritanical society, same-sex relationships were not only frowned upon but were met with hostility and violence. The tension and danger that permeate throughout the film highlight the challenges faced by individuals who dared to defy societal norms.

The Impact of “Requiem”: A Call for Change

“Requiem” leaves a lasting impact on its viewers, serving as a call to action against prejudice and discrimination. It highlights the importance of representation and the need for stories that reflect the diverse experiences of marginalized communities. By showcasing the pain and resilience of characters like Evelyn and Mary, the film encourages empathy and understanding, challenging societal norms and advocating for acceptance.

Where to Watch “Requiem”

As of March 9th, 2023, “Requiem” is available to watch on YouTube1. Please note that the provided link is not affiliated with Norwich Film Festival but is included for convenience to those seeking to view the film online.

Conclusion: A Captivating Journey of Love and Resilience

“Requiem” is an extraordinary short film that captivates viewers with its gripping tale of love, witch trials, and revenge. Em J. Gilbertson’s masterful direction, combined with the exceptional performances by Bella Ramsey and Safia Oakley Green, transports audiences to a time of repression and danger. Through the lens of this powerful story, we are reminded of the enduring strength of love and the importance of fighting against discrimination. “Requiem” serves as a rallying cry for equality and acceptance, urging us to embrace the beauty of diversity and celebrate love in all its forms.

1 Film Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • “Requiem” ignited a fire within me, compelling me to stand against injustice and fight for love and equality. It reminds us that we must continue to strive for a world that celebrates and embraces diversity. “Requiem” is a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by marginalized communities throughout history. The film sheds light on the enduring power of love and the resilience of those who dare to challenge societal expectations.