Great Again

Kirrilee Bailey’s short film Great Again, shot by cinematographer Gabriel Francis, was reviewed as part of the Australian short film program at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) in 2019.

Review by James Cunningham.

A scene from 'Great Again' - DOP Gabriel Francis
A scene from ‘Great Again’ – DOP Gabriel Francis

Jordan, a queer non-binary person, visits their conservative, Evangelical Christian family in rural Australia in the aftermath of the US election to discover that their own mother is a Trump supporter. Director Kirrilee Bailey is no stranger to MQFF, having been awarded Best Emerging Filmmaker at last year’s festival with the short film Allergies (2018).

Cinematographer Gabriel Francis does a wonderful job at making the Great Again look and feel as if it could have been a feature. The cold, grey exterior is punctuated with the red of ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. Literally acting like a red rag to a proverbial bull. Warmth is also cleverly brought in to an evangelical prayer ceremony, while Jordan is left to watch through a window, left out in the cold. Francis also hits a stroke of genius with one silhouetted shot of the two protagonists from behind, one with a gun, under what seems to look like a barn. 

The themes embedded in Great Again resonate far beyond just the six-minutes of this film, and one would love to see Bailey and Francis collaborating and expanding this idea further.

James Cunningham is the Editor of Australian Cinematographer Magazine.

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