Streaming Now: 17 Year Locust | Opinion | reflector-online.com – The Reflector online
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Updated: March 18, 2022 @ 4:02 am
I had the pleasure of attending the Magnolia Independent Film Festival for its Friday showing of films and announced the start of the family films showing Saturday morning. The festival was well-done and did a lovely job showcasing local filmmaker’s work, international films and even animators. Of the films I watched Friday evening, the short film “17 Year Locust,” directed by Louisiana native Logan LeBlanc, was very compelling.
The film follows the life of Haitian immigrant René, played by Stevenson Jean, who moved to Louisiana to forge a better life for his wife and their unborn child. René’s life in the United States is not one of luxury, and it portrays the realities of assimilation among immigrants. René has adopted new ideals of the American Dream and hangs an American flag in the place of his home country’s. He tries to hide his cultural roots in favor of cultural acceptance but is quickly reminded he cannot escape his identity when he receives a phone call about an old woman in hospice named Odile, portrayed by Becca Begnaud. Odile refuses to speak to anyone in any language other than French. Since René is from Haiti and Creole French is their main language, he is recruited by a co-worker to be her aide. Throughout the rest of the film, it explores the realities of cultural assimilation not only by U.S. immigrants, but also by Louisianians over the course of their rich history.
I thought the film looked professionally made and was enjoyable. The symbolism of locusts and the two main characters were nice touches, and the film brings a certain calmness with its use of sound and cinematography. We feel as viewers as though we are right at Odile’s bedside with René when she unfolds her story to him. There was only one part I think had an error in editing where it shows René putting up the Haitian flag, but right before that action it had a wide shot of that flag already back on the wall with René sitting on the bed contemplating the decision to do that. This could have been my mistake in recollection, but I noticed that while watching. Overall, this is an excellent film about a topical issue portrayed in a neat way.
For more information about the Magnolia Independent Film Festival visit here.
To learn more about the director you can find his website here and a trailer for the movie here.
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