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Or Are You?

5th June 2020

We have seen some great films featuring actors with Down syndrome, from the excellent Steven Brandon in “My Feral Heart” to Zack Gottsagen in “The Peanut Butter Falcon”.

Now we can add Tommy Jessop (“Line Of Duty (TV)”, “Fighter (Short)”) who stars in Ben Reid’s (“Banged Up Abroad (TV)”, “Dope (TV)”) and Owen Gower’s (“Goldfish (Short)”, “Still The Enemy Within”) short film, Innocence.

Tommy is in a home where his brother, Laurence Spellman (“Ready Player One”, “Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times (Short)”), is one of the carers. His brother having only recently got out of prison.

Running the home is Richard Glover (“Darkest Hour”, “War Machine”), a man who appears to have very little regard for the residents or any part of humanity really.

We begin the short with the police, lead by Alice Lowe (“Prevenge”, “Days Of The Bagnold Summer”), banging on the doors late at night. Spellman wakes with a start, a bottle of whisky by his side.

Once in, the police immediately head for the CCTV and see a figure fall to his death, they also capture Jessop on the cameras.

Lowe heads upstairs to speak to Jessop who begins to tell the story of the evening, somewhat reluctantly, giving Lowe the impression she has won him round.

We see this story in flashback, the argument between Glover and Jessop, Spellman tempted by the drink. But what are we watching here? The real deal, or is this what someone wants us to see?

Reid and Gower have created a great short film here, jam packed with tension, it is dark and moody, the pace slowing and quickening at just the right times.

There’s a constant edge of…something. It always feels like something is about to happen and that what has happened, might not be the end of it all.

Innocence is a wonderful short film with great performances all round.



Ben Reid

Ben Reid, Owen Gower

Running Time:

When a worker falls to his death at a care home, it appears to be a terrible accident

Alice Lowe, Ben Reid, Laurence Spellman, Owen Gower, Richard Glover, Tommy Jessop

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