August In The City
Drama, 16 min
Synopsis: The film is set to the theme of love and loss. Two women find themselves completely drawn to each other but one fears the consequences from society in 1978.
When August’s daughter comes home for the holidays with her new partner in tow, August has a flashback to a love of her own some 20 years earlier.
August in the City is a short film about love and all its complexities, the joy, and pain of it. It is directed by Christie Conochalla and stars Mandahla Rose as Clementine and Daniela Mastropietro as August. This beautifully filmed short explores love and loss in both the modern day and a 1970s setting. The short is cleverly set between these two periods of time, and a flashback to the past is prompted when August’s daughter brings her new girlfriend to dinner.
The story begins in a suburban house in which August is day drinking whilst writing. When the phone rings, we are witness to August’s clear disappointment at her husband’s apathy to answer it. Ultimately a seed is sown as to how August feels about him and a hint at why she may be unhappy. August answers the phone to her daughter ringing to ask if she can bring her partner to dinner. A sense of unease builds up as August assumes the gender of her daughter’s partner is male, although we are witness to her daughter’s nervousness at her partner actually being a girl. When her daughter arrives at the family home and introduces her partner to August, her reaction is less than ideal.
Cut to a flashback of a young August heading into a party with her boyfriend. They are met at the door by the very enigmatic Clementine. It soon becomes apparent that Clementine has strong views compared to others of her time, and seeks to break free from the shackles of conformity. She states to August that her boyfriend’s 1950s ego and misogynistic attitude can ‘Hit the fucking road.’ It also becomes apparent that August’s attentions are quite firmly set on Clementine as her eyes track her every move around the party.
When Clementine and August finally have some alone time in a room at the party, Clementine shares a necklace with her stating, ‘I saw this and thought of you.’ A passionate kiss follows and the attraction and love between the two is palpable. There’s a clear chemistry between them that was lacking with her boyfriend, and so when August drops a bombshell on Clementine, I felt shell shocked along with her. Once we are thrown back into the modern-day interaction between August, her daughter, and her daughter’s partner, I found I was holding my breath awaiting her reaction too.
The compelling performances by the two superb leads made for an incredibly heart wrenching and beautiful watch. This gorgeous little short delves into love, expectation, and circumstances that are all too often beyond our control. This is a bittersweet tale and a must watch.
Watch the trailer
This review was written by:
Reviewer and Writer
Alex has worked as a film stills photographer, written stories for a museum promotion campaign and has had her work featured on the cover of an Australian based lesbian magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, focusing on film, writing and photography from Perth's Edith Cowan University.
She is currently working on a documentary project centred on lesbian refugee women’s experiences, combining her love of documentary film, photography and her current role as an occupational therapist. All in all, she is passionate about film, especially lesbian-made and themed films.