Short Film of the Week: Balcony

Posted in Reviews, Short Film of the Week, Top Stories by - April 27, 2016
Short Film of the Week: Balcony

In a fascinating, ravishing, and delicate manner, Balcony fills you with disgust in outrage and leaves you questioning the world we live in.

My first impression of this short, 17 minute film was how pure and beautiful it is short. We’re introduced to Tina, a compassionate individual  encompassed by filth and chaos. She’s describing someone new in town, an obvious foreigner to a neighborhood rife with racial tension. This unnamed character of Afghani descent is a beautiful young woman, Tina’s age, and is the recipient of constant hate and abuse. Tina assumes that this woman is being abused sexually inside her home. She’s come to that conclusion with no evidence, except, as we find out later, Tina herself is a victim of such abuse.  Her mind wonders farther into fiction as she looks up at the Afghani woman on her balcony, and she makes a decision; if she can’t save herself, she’s going to do everything she can to save this woman.

As the narrative progresses, we see Tina and the Afghani woman grow closer and closer, sharing some intimate moments. If you think they are going to fall in love, so did I, and so did Tina. However, that simply doesn’t happen, the Afghani woman doesn’t reciprocate the affection that Tina shows her, and this leads Tina to a sudden, and regrettable action.  Without spoiling the surprise of the film, I will say I was struck with utter shock and true sadness at this. This is the kind of powerful emotion that Balcony evokes upon you.

Director and writer Toby Fell-Holden has accomplished absolute genius with this screenplay, and its subsequent execution. The overwhelmingly apparent thing to me is how difficult it is to watch this masterpiece. As you see the beautiful, young Afghani girl be ridiculed and harassed,  you try to remain desensitized as you know this is simply a film, not real life. The problem is, at your core you know this is real life. People are out there dealing with this on a daily basis. Also, it’s not just the tragedy of the young Afghani girl that hurts, it’s Tina’s tragedy as well. A whole different type of mess, dealing with different breeds of monsters. Tina should be ashamed for her actions, but how much can we blame a person who’s been broken down by society and the rest of our failures. This is the type of narrative that Fell-Holden and his magnificent team is able to depict to the viewer. A truly beautiful experience, one in which you despise because of how pure and authentic it is.

Balcony has screened at many festivals, most notably:

  • BFI London Film Festival
  • Leeds International Film Festival
  • UK Film Festival
  • Flickerfest International Short Film Festival
  • London Short Film Festival
  • 66th Berlinale
  • Bermuda International Film Festival
  • BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival
  • ECU, The European Independent Film Festival
  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • Busan International Short Film Festival

To find out where you can see this short film, follow their Social Media accounts:


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1 Comment on "Short Film of the Week: Balcony"

  • I love it!
    It’s my most favorite one in Busan International Short Film Festival 2016~^^
    Amazing and beyond description!

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