Wes Anderson‘s latest short film, ‘Poison,’ is a gripping and thought-provoking narrative that subtly addresses the theme of racism. Drawing inspiration from a short story by Roald Dahl, ‘Poison’ unfolds the harrowing tale of a man ensnared by a venomous snake, weaving in undertones of racial abuse inflicted by a British officer upon an Indian doctor.
Set against the backdrop of colonial India during British rule, ‘Poison’ untangles the precarious situation of a man trapped beneath the weight of a deadly serpent. His survival hinges on the quick and meticulous efforts of his friend and a local doctor, played by an ensemble cast featuring renowned actors such as Dev Patel, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Kingsley. While the film’s primary focus remains on the suspenseful struggle for survival, it ingeniously incorporates subliminal messages and undertones that shed light on the insidious specter of racism prevalent during this historical period. ‘Poison’ thus emerges as a profound and multifaceted cinematic exploration, blending elements of suspense and social commentary to deliver a compelling narrative that lingers in the viewer’s mind long after the credits roll.
Get ready to dive into a world of bite-sized brilliance with short films like ‘Poison’ – where storytelling packs a venomous punch in minutes. You can watch most of these short movies similar to ‘Poison’ on YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime.
5. Tribes (2020)
In the vein of thought-provoking short films like ‘Poison,’ Nino Aldi’s ‘Tribes’ explores intricate themes of identity and discrimination. The narrative unravels within the confined space of a train ride, connecting the lives of an African American, an Arab-American, and a white man. As they embark on a daring train robbery, they inadvertently confront their own prejudices and societal divisions. The reluctance to target their own races adds layers of complexity, highlighting the profound impact of discrimination on individual choices. ‘Tribes’ emerges as a compelling cinematic journey that echoes the subliminal undertones and powerful commentary seen in ‘Poison,’ resonating with contemporary social issues.
4. Ice Breakers (2019)
Directed by Sandi Rankaduwa, ‘Ice Breakers’ is a documentary short film that, much like ‘Poison,’ shows the nuanced layers of societal dynamics. This poignant documentary unveils the journey of Josh Crooks, an aspiring hockey player in Atlantic Canada. However, Crooks confronts a significant obstacle in his pursuit of a hockey career: he is a rarity as a black player in a sport predominantly devoid of racial diversity. Drawing parallels with ‘Poison’s’ exploration of racial tension during British colonial rule in India, ‘Ice Breakers’ shines a spotlight on contemporary issues of race and inclusion, providing a compelling narrative that echoes the subtle undercurrents found in Anderson’s work.
3. Skin (2018)
Directed by Guy Nattiv and featuring Jonathan Tucker and Danielle Macdonald, ‘Skin’ is a short film that chronicles the transformative journey of a young man trapped in a world of hate. Raised by racist skinheads and notorious within white supremacist circles, he defies his upbringing, shunning hatred and violence. With the guidance of a compassionate black activist and the love of a woman, he embarks on a profound quest for redemption and self-discovery.
Both ‘Skin’ and ‘Poison’ confront societal prejudices head-on, exploring the profound transformation of individuals as they break free from the chains of hate and racism.
2. The Long Goodbye (2020)
Riz Ahmed‘s compelling creation, ‘The Long Goodbye,’ in which he not only takes on the roles of star and producer but also co-writer, resonates deeply with themes explored in ‘Poison.’ In this twelve-minute masterpiece, the film is artfully divided into three acts, offering a stark depiction of the grim consequences stemming from the rise of racism and Islamophobia. It portrays a South Asian family in suburban London, possibly set in the not-so-distant future or chillingly reminiscent of the present, as they prepare for a celebration. However, the narrative takes a sinister turn as news reports reveal escalating violence and the ominous presence of an all-white militia, eerily reminiscent of the racial tensions explored in ‘Poison’ within the context of British colonial India.
1. Kaala (2021)
Directed by Tarun Jain and featuring Aman Bhatia and Chiranjit Das, ‘Kaala’ addresses the chilling reality of racially motivated attacks on African nationals in India. The film revolves around an African student residing in New Delhi who tragically falls prey to a hate crime, shedding light on the deeply rooted prejudices and discrimination faced by people of African descent. Similar to ‘Poison,’ which explores racism in the context of British colonial India, ‘Kaala’ shows the contemporary issue of racial intolerance in modern India.
Read More: Best Movies About Racism