Teenage years are tough. Young love is tough. Young people dealing with social media is tough. What I am trying to get across is that what was always a tough time in life has become even more so due to social media. Everything is documented and shared on Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, and even Twitter. As such, they often engage in dubious behaviour due to the pressure they feel as a result of social media.
Secondly, they spend all their time in the digital world so it should not be surprising that real world skills have dropped. It seems like they do not know how to communicate with each other face-to-face.
This issue is addressed here in Adrian Moyse Dullin’s 14-minute short film, The Right Words. Filmed in a Paris suburb and set largely on a crowded public bus, 13-year-old Mahdi (Yasser Osmani – first film) has fallen for a girl who doesn’t even know he exists. And fallen hard. A romantic at heart, he has even written a poem about her. Due to the relationship he has with his older sister, Kenza (Aya Halai – first film), his feelings for Jada (Sanya Salhi – first film) are seen as something to mock. Publically on social media. He feels pressured into making a move before he is ready to. This leads to a whole bunch of trickle down effects.
Sometimes the films which have the biggest impact are those that, at first glance seem superficial. You could easily dismiss Dullin’s film as just a teenie one that deals with first love and the typical behaviour of that age group. If you take the time to truly absorb it there is a lot more going on here. Examinations of gender stereotypes, sexuality and social media are all undertaken in a mere 14 minutes.
Films like this make us think about things that usually just pass us by every day. Forces us to stand back and think about our own behaviour. Take the time to watch this film and then some quiet time to digest it all.