Imagine this: you’re alone, somewhere along a remote stretch of coastline where the air is so cold you can see your breath, and living out of your car after you left an abusive relationship. You also have no money… and your car has just run out of petrol. You’re screwed – at least until a kind woman offers you not only immediate help, but a chance to get back on your feet.
Such is the plot of Coast, a sublime short film that – although light on dialogue – is all about women lifting each other up. The 13-minute film – starring Roxie Mohebbi as the main character and Donogh Rees as the woman who helps her – is part of Someday Stories, a collection of six New Zealand-made short films by The Outlook for Someday. A sustainable film project for young people, The Outlook for Someday is supported by NZ On Air, the New Zealand Film Commission and The Body Shop.
Each of the Someday Stories films are interesting in their own unique way, but Coast is by far the most overtly feminist in terms of its message. After all, what could be more feminist than women helping each other out to overcome challenges – whether it’s something as simple as fixing a car and offering someone a place to stay for the night, or helping them find a job so that they can just simply survive?
While the idea of a random stranger volunteering to help a young woman might (unfortunately) seem pretty unlikely in real life, it still makes us feel better about the human experience to see it happen in a film with a plot that could – at least conceivably – happen in our world. It helps, too, that it’s beautifully acted.
Of course, the short is not without its flaws, but as a film made by young people for young people, it shows that the future of film-making in Aotearoa is in good hands.
Is Coast worth your time? You bet. And, better yet, you might just walk away from it feeling empowered to do what you can to help and lift up others who might be in need. The best kinds of entertainment are empowering. You could even call Coast an example of “enterpowerment.”Support Villainesse