How many men rush towards the light not to see better, but to shine? This is merely one of the deep and meaningful ideas that "Lotus Eater" throws at its audience during its 9-minute runtime. It’s quite rare when a film tries to be about everything and nothing in particular and actually succeeds – the one before your very eyes being such a success story.
The plot should not be much to go on, and therefore will not be emphasized too much. Suffice to say, a man, all alone, wakes up next to a tree and wanders around. The few environments start creating a recurring theme before too long: a solitary tree in the middle of a rocky incline, the ruins of a tower, a run-down building interior, a flooded tunnel. These locations perfectly complement the monologue uttered by the main character, the only character, and create a sort of audio-visual synergy that constitutes a distinctly provocative medium. Two further particularities play an important role to cement this outcome: the black and white visuals and an almost Lynchian continuous low hum. The result is an eerie atmosphere that enables a sort of dark, contemplative mood, with which the film’s themes resonate.
Cyclicity, dreams, the reliability of the senses, endings, and beginnings are referenced in the short film’s monologue, and its philosophical musings almost always hit home. The key is ultimately all in the hands of the viewer, depending on how much he or she will resonate with the allure of "Lotus Eater", how attentive they are not to miss important elements, and of course, their capacity of abstraction, of slotting all the pieces together in a unitary idea.
As with most experimental productions, the film by Christopher Vallefin seems aware of the niche that it is targeting, and manages to offer a remarkable experience that should, by all means, leave its viewer thinking about the ideas on display long after the credits roll.
Directed and edited with a fine eye for artistic beauty, and slotting in not an utterance too much, "Lotus Eater" highly impressed us, to the point that we’ll recommend it to anyone with an open mind and 9 minutes to spare and think about existence.