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Film Review: “A Line Birds Cannot See” (2019) ★★★


© A Line Birds Cannot See- Amy Bench, Steve West

Most of us enjoy our comfort zone. We like going to work every day and get back home right after, watch TV, go to the cinema, and meet friends in the weekends. Life is splendid, isn’t it? However, every day there are people who do not have what we have. They have no place to call home, have no hope for a bright future, and the only expectation they have is to make through the night alive. Those people either live in extreme poverty or in hiding because there is no place that would like to accept them due to their illegal status.

“A Line Birds Cannot See” is a true story told through a short animated film which follows the narrated voice of E.L. who shares the heartbreaking story of how she as a child lived with an abusive father who would beat her mother all the time until she fell unconscious. However, after reuniting with her mother, the two make their way to the United States where their paths were separated. The twelve-year-old girl finds herself on the edge of starvation, cold, alone, and being kidnapped by people who would do unimaginable things to a little girl who could not defend herself.

Directed by Amy Bench, the short animated film takes a light approach to the harshened reality of life suffered by its heroine where heartless people, mainly, men, would take advantage of her by forcing her to cross the border between US and Mexico to fulfill their demand in a house they would send her to. E.L. does not reveal what exactly happened to her as she intentionally leaves a gap but there is no need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what a human being can do when they feel they’re above the law or have someone in their possession who no one is looking for.

That said, “A Line Birds Cannot See” is a relevant film to watch, especially for those who think that they have the right to take away the peace every people on earth should have. The film is not only about entitlement, but also about what happens to those who are considered unprivileged, from a very poor society, and without proper help can disappear in thin air. In the meantime, while it reveals the ugly nature of the human species, it shows its good side as well, which unfortunately based on what we see, is a very rare situation to witness. But even that rarity gives a comforting feeling that maybe after watching this the number might grow, otherwise, stories like the one told in Bench’s film will keep on coming at an alarming pace.

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