“The pulse of a culture beats in its language,” says one of the characters in Kestav. The Cornish-language short is beautifully connecting and chillingly aware.
Kestav means ‘contact’ in Cornish, and the film sees 65-year-old Jenna Gwennap plucked from her day job. An alien has chosen her to make contact with.
The clinical bureaucracy and the pleas to not touch or breathe the same air are coldly familiar. Jenna also has to come to terms with a loss that takes physical form in front of her.
But it’s not just a gripping personal story. The echoes and ripples from director Christopher Morris’s films have an impact beyond the confines of the encounter.
Christopher picked up Best Short Drama at the Celtic Media Festival in 2022 for Kestav. And he’s been gaining even more global success with A Year In A Field, another film that embraces you as it fills you with difficult issues.
“In many ways, I see Kestav very much as a companion piece to my recent feature documentary A Year In A Field, in which I spent a year filming in a field near my home in West Penwith,” Chris told D&CFilm.
“Kestav, of course, is a sci-fi short. Although they are polar opposites in form, content and styles, they share the same theme, morals and ideas. They were made at the same time and both cloak their climate stories in genre and structure, both play in the beautiful Cornish language – and they do share one line exactly!”
Kestav combines the ancient with the futuristic, and the personal with the global with a reminder that responsibility is tied up with the language that we use, after all, ‘in Cornish, there is no word for extinction’.
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