May The End of The World Catch You Dancing
The story of 'May The End Of The World Catch You Dancing' succeeds in expressing a multitude of emotions and ideas in such a brief period of time that it’s almost a shame it wasn’t made into a feature-length film. A short but impactful story which manages to keep the viewer’s interest from the start until the very end.
Masking the harrowing backstories of refugees with the wonderful pastimes they found – or continued – in their newly adopted world, the movie manages to show why having empathy for our fellow men, women, and children who are fleeing war-zones is so important. This idea might be overlooked by a more conservative audience, who may see it simply as another piece of left-wing propaganda. However, it is fairly obvious that this short film tries to go beyond ideology and portray the beauty and humanity in all of us.
Even if the plot is solely focused on the audio-visual aspects with no actual dialogue, the characters are able to communicate in a much more efficient manner: music and dancing. These are two of the most beloved activities in the world and they seem to achieve their goal better than if the protagonists were using words. Even at the end, they don’t say anything to each other, they just share thankful smile. It is also quite clear that they weren’t doing it to attract anyone’s attention, it was more a way of making the world more beautiful for ten fateful minutes.
The viewer is shown glimpses of how the musician and the dancer’s lives had been before the tragedy of war completely transformed them. Both the music and the dance evoke powerful memories that are interspersed with present-day sequences. The musician is reminded of his childhood days when he was learning to play the violin. The woman remembers her dancing lessons and the fact that she has to keep her chin up, in both a literal and metaphorical sense.
The violinist’s knowing smile throughout the film says a lot about him and his relationship with the dancing woman. It says “I see the beauty of your art and I appreciate it. You are using it to make my art more beautiful and I thank you for it.” It might also be saying “I acknowledge you. I can see we have both gone through horrific experiences. Yet, here we are, the both of us, safe and sound, on the other side. And even if we went through the experiences alone, we are doing this together. And look at all these people admiring the beauty of our improvised act, like a testament to what can be achieved if we work together and not against one another.”
This short movie could really be a fan favorite at countless film festivals because it has all the elements it needs for success: brevity, rhythm and a lot of (com)passion. An enjoyment to watch through and through, we are sure this is not the last time we’ll hear of director Josemari Martínez.