Life and death becomes one when a soldier is chased down a hill by an armed man. He falls and wakes up wounded, and something is coming out of his wound.
This short film by Kapel Furman, director of "Pólvora Negra" and the "06 Tiros, 60Ml" segment from "3 Cortes", is based on the writings of the French philosopher Simone Weil. "S.W. Metaxu-seq.01" is part of an visual arts installation called "Metaxu in Eight" (or "Metaxu em Oito"), where filmmakers were all given a text by Simone Weil. The text Furman used is about how nurses were sent out with soldiers during WWII as a way to comfort them. It goes more into that, of course, but this outline is what shaped Kapel Furman's contribution to the installation.
Now, "S.W. Metaxu-seq.01" is pretty wild. I wonder what the people behind the installation will say when they see Furman's take on the text, as it takes a very symbolic route, having females actually play "Life" and "Death". It's about a soldier who is chased by an armed man (soldier?) with a scarred face, and a strange hole in his head. Yes, it IS a "strange hole"! When the hunted soldier falls down a hill, he gets stuck in barbed wire and passes out. When he wakes up, he finds himself on the ground with a large wound in his chest. Soon, something starts to crawl out of the wound.
It's hard to know anything about what is going on without context of this one, so I'm glad I had a little chat with Kapel Furman regarding the installation and the text. However, the short film is still a step further from the original text, as he has decided to make life and death "come to life" as characters - as demonic women (or nurses, if you want to refer back to the text). What he has done with the text isn't the most original idea, being literal with "good vs. evil" / "life vs. death" isn't new. But within this film and the original text it is really refreshing. The symbolism of these demonic figures and the dying soldier work well together and there's definitely something behind the effects. I'm happy to see that he as a director stayed with his gruesome, usual style. It wouldn't have been the same if he created a black and white, angst-ridden, philosophical drama. Kapel Furman did what he does best: he went to gore and violence, but still gave it depth. And yes, my friends, that can be art too, as this one proves.
The effects are great for the most part, though I think the face make-up on one of the "demons" could've been improved. Considering this was shot in just 12 hours, the results are fantastic. It will definitely satisfy the gorehounds, while it also works as a little brain-melter.
"S.W. Metaxu-seq.01" throws you down the trenches and gets you dirty, but it's more than just filth. It might handle the subject to an extreme, but Kapel Furman's interpretation of the text is actually really interesting. It's a symbolic, graphic interpretation of a dying soldier struggling to survive, where women represent life and death. Definitely a recommended short film, but it might need context to truly work. That's why it's very appropriate that it's part of a visual arts installation - it's in the right context from the beginning.