Sadly, in many parts of the world, people aren’t free to be who they want to be, love who they want to love and do what they wish.
As much of the world progresses and allows same-sex marriage or, at the very least, tolerates same-sex couples, that can’t be said for a few places and that certainly wasn’t the case over a hundred years ago in USA, not that in some parts of the US it’s much different now.
We are in Meeker, Colorado and the year is 1913. We see a young effeminate looking man called Jack, Kate Smith (“Chicago Fire (TV)”), fixing a fence.
A young woman, Anna, Brookelyn Hebert (“Chicago Med (TV)”, “Social Hour (Short)”), walks over and hands him a piece of paper which states they are now both the proud owners of the land they stand on.
Jack and Anna are a couple, a happy couple, living their own little life in their part of the world. But that is all about to change when Jack takes a trip to the shops.
He goes to see Anna’s brother, a shoemaker, to get Anna some new shoes. As he’s walking back a man asks if they’ve met previously. Jack refutes this, and states his name, but the man is insistent and then says, “you’re Helen, from Denver”.
Cut to the court case, after Anna’s brother has told the authorities, and it transpires that Anna knew that Jack was Helen, she knew from the beginning.
Helen had begun dressing like a man and adopted the name in order to earn more money, to have a chance at buying a farm. She was successful for two years.
The court doesn’t care that Anna knew; doesn’t care they are happy. They send Helen back to her parents in Denver and ban either of them from seeing each other.
Jack And Anna is an MFA thesis film by director Ksenia Ivanova (“Lady And The Tramps (Short)”, “The Sun Rises For Everyone (Short)”), who co-wrote alongside Savannah Oakes (“Marked (Short)”).
It is a beautifully, well made piece of work, whether by a student or not. In the short run-time it is hard for Ivanova and Oakes to get everything in, but this leaves you wanting more and, in my opinion at least, this is exactly what a short film should do.
Jack And Anna is an extremely well-made short film that will hopefully lead to good things from both writer and director.