Forgotten Heroes is a tale of old world performers who once captivated audiences for decades but as they got older their stardom faded and life moved on.
Today’s film is the 2016 Brazilian short film made for Comic Con Brazil, Forgotten Heroes written and directed Douglas Bernardt and starring Michel Serdan, Roberto Bettini “Dengue” and Paquita Andreia “Sorvetao”. It is currently being hosted on Thebestmicrofilms.com along with a very wide range of films of five minutes or less.
Forgotten Heroes is a very sad tale of several old world performers who once captivated audiences for decades but as they got older their stardom faded and they had to move on with life. It is narrated by one of the old performers telling the viewer how bright they once found the future in their various fields but over the years the spotlights faded away and they each faded into the background of obscurity. Now they all have mundane jobs or cling to what they once had and put themselves through demeaning work just to get by while everyone around them never notices who they once were. Each of the performers have flashbacks of their glory days as they live out their now sad and lonely lives just struggling to survive. The film ends on the old professional wrestler rescuing a young woman from a would be rapist by putting his still considerable talents to good use despite his age while flashbacks of his days in the ring overshadow the violence of the rescue.
Forgotten Heroes was certainly not what I expected when I saw it in the lists of films at The Best Micro Films. What I thought I was getting was a film like Micky Rourke’s The Wrestler in that it would be sappy but have a semi happy ending but what I actually found was a deeply thoughtful and depressing documentary like film of how once your fifteen minutes are up life can just hammer you. The film is written beautifully by this young up and coming Brazilian director and really puts a lot of heart and effort into bringing it’s eye opening message to the viewer. Many times in films like this the director wields the message like a blunt instrument and tries to hammer it home as hard as possible but Forgotten Heroes delivers it to you in a comforting way that also allows for the briefest glimmer of hope to spark that these people’s lives might change for the better. The narrator does a stellar job imparting the story of how these silent protagonists lived their lives and really brings a depth to the film that would otherwise be missing due to there being no other dialog at all.
Each of the characters in the film have a unique story that is told through a series of flashbacks and their current “Real World” jobs and how each of them copes with not being famous and adored as they use to be. It is a really detailed look into the other side of showbiz that is rarely seen except on news stations with a celebrity snaps and does something controversial. The silent characters manage to bring a depth of character and really heart breaking performances without even uttering a single word on camera and really shows what you can do with a talented cast who’s talents can be expressed with a simple glance or a pained look on their face. Not many actors these days are brave enough to try this let alone have the skill to pull it off and yet each of these actors not only manage it but do it in such a convincing way that it really makes the film come to life. While none of the characters have names you can’t help but feel for each one of them in their various plights and yet admire them for the way they overcome their adversity and carry on.
The production quality of Forgotten Heroes is very high and professionally done. The cinematography is beautifully handled with its clear picture and clever use of old time camera work for the flashback scenes. Each scene is shot with care and skill to really drive home what the narrator is telling you throughout the film and unlike most documentaries it has none of the shaky cam effects that always ruin a film for me. The picture stays in focus and is clear even when they film a scene in the dark and never gets over saturated thus losing picture quality despite being shot on a limited budget. This is the hallmark of a good production company and really bodes well for the Stink of Sao Paulo film company.
The audio work is just as impressive as the visual work on this film. While only the narrator ever speaks his voice is clear and loud throughout the film and is never drowned out by the music in the background. This is actually more common in documentary style films than you might guess and really diminishes the nature of the film but Forgotten Heroes handles it very well. Unlike in most documentaries there are no artifacts recorded on the audio track nor is there any hissing or pops to distract you from what is being said and all in all the audio is handled skillfully and professionally. The musical score is fitting with sad and dramatic score tinted with just a twinge of hope just as the theme of the film tries to convey.
When all is said and done Forgotten Heroes is a very interesting story that doesn’t really fit into any one genre of film completely. While it has elements of a documentary there is also drama and action in this fictional tale that will appeal to many viewers. At a little over four minutes long it is well worth the effort to watch if you are interested in the darker side of show business and want to see what can happen when your time runs out.