A young man wants to seek revenge on his sister because she has been stealing from him, but his mother's boyfriend tells him off, which is just the beginning of a downfall for our young man.
"Emancipation" is the long anticipated short film by "The Gateway Meat" director Ron DeCaro. With his debut feature he took over the underground scene, if even just for a moment, and made a name for himself. That was the end of his "Brightside Trilogy" and hopefully just the beginning of his career. "Emancipation" has gone through some rough patches and so has Ron DeCaro, but the fact that this film is now available for us all to see is a step in the right direction.
Because the film is just 11 minutes, the following review will contain SPOILERS.
We're thrown into this story of a young man who is doing drugs with his friend, and he talks about how he wants seek revenge on his sister because she has been stealing from him. His way of revenge? To nail his sister's rat to a wooden board and put it on her door. After the deed is done, his mother's boyfriend finds the rat on the door and gets pissed off at the kid. But even though the kid promises he won't do it again, he does it as soon as he leaves, but this time on the inside of his sister's door so that the boyfriend won't notice it. When he enters his sister's room he finds her OD'd with puke all over herself and flips. He nails the rat to the outside of the door to provoke the boyfriend, and decides to kill him off.
"Emancipation" manages to make you feel dirty just like you would expect from Ron DeCaro. It's politically incorrect and destined to upset people especially with its use of animal cruelty, graphic violence, drug-use and just overall nasty nature. It doesn't quite reach the level of "The Gateway Meat" but that's also to be expected when this is just a short film. I would say it's nastier than "The White Lie", but that one definitely made a bigger impression on me simply because of how the child murder was portrayed.
I can't say that "Emancipation" is DeCaro's best work, it really isn't. It's not bad, though. It suffers from being too short, actually. We're thrown into a story and character history with no regards of getting us there emotionally, and it ends it equally fast. It's hard to accept what happens and you have questions in your head through-out: What really pushed our character over the limit? What is the history between the young man and his mother's boyfriend? What is his mother like? Yes, many of these questions can be answered but the blanks shouldn't be filled by us.
Now, you need to remember that this is a short film, these things are usually present and doesn't cause that much of a problem. "Emancipation" just happens to feel like it's a scene taken out of a longer story, and that's a shame. It doesn't give us enough to build an atmosphere or emotional ties around the characters, and the short film ends up simply being a violent short film instead of a dark, twisted family drama that could really stir things up (think Larry Clark and similar directors). I'm glad "Emancipation" eventually came out, and that Ron DeCaro can go back to make another feature that will shock our socks off.