Still from BLOOM (L – R) Elizabeth Roberts, Lasharne Anderson, Georgia James, Candassaie Liburd. Reproduced with director’s permission
Visual flair is probably the films best asset, evoking a wistful sentiment and nostalgia. Cinematographer Luke Farley keeps his focus tight and shots appear dream-like. Seeing the girls ride their bicycles, run through the fields and choreograph dance routines evokes their youth and childlike nature, but is also a is reminder of one’s own youth. Gassongo-Alexsander references Celine Sciamma’s Girlhood and Noel Clarke’s Kidulthood as films that have influenced him in the production of BLOOM. While it joins the aforementioned in its account of post-puberty life, BLOOM takes a different approach to the ‘coming of age’ genre. Despite it being a short film, BLOOM shines light on impending adulthood or rather the transition between childhood and adulthood. It doesn’t present its main characters in gritty scenery. It’s bright – they have fun in the light, they lie about how the lost their virginity in the light and just as quickly as they formed the lie, they forget about it and go back to playing games with each other. Each character embodies the difficult and uncomfortable tensions of a girl torn between childhood and adulthood. In particular, Lasharne Anderson’s performance as Ruby was convincing and believable.
While I enjoyed the brief exploration into adolescence from the perspective of girls, I felt that it was too short. It’s difficult to critique a short film for being too short, but when the end credits began to roll, I was left wanting and expecting more. However, in response to this feeling, Gassongo-Alexsander says “it’s a reflective film, I think everyone is going to take something completely different from it. I think it says more about you than it does about them… When I made [BLOOM] it was never to say something, it was more for you to take something away.” Perhaps then, the elusiveness is all part of retelling our ‘coming of age’ stories.
BLOOM is currently touring festivals. You can follow the related work on twitter and instagram.