Review by Joanna Gravett:
“This superhero does not have a plane, no jet-pack – he has a mechanical horse!”
Yes, it can only be the marvellous and magical words of a child.
Whether you grew up with younger siblings or have young children yourself, we’ve all had the privilege of sharing the fabulous and funny minds of the younger generation. But do we ever listen to them? Do we stop to look at what is going on in their world? One minute you’re photographing them shoving fourth birthday cake into their mouths, and the next, you’re waving goodbye as they drive off in a tightly packed car to university.
A Film by Abigail is a fabulous portrait of a young girl, caught on camera by her brother, Paul. Shot in the filmmaker’s home, it provides an intimate impression of her life, her dreams and aspirations, which will be forever preserved in a documentary-style time capsule.
“I think I want to make a sort of film, you know, a film star sort of film,” announces Abigail with conviction and gusto. The little mite takes us through the very logical steps to producing a film, which, to hell with logic, is about the weird and wonderful world of Captain Cowboy and the Snake Girls! (One is the good twin and one is evil!)
After planning what it is going to have in it “a bit of romance, a bit of, like, joy and happiness, and a bit of, like, funniness, like that,” Abigail sets about drawing out her characters in detail, and planning the ever thickening plot line of the story.
The camera beautifully allows us to experience Abigail’s all-star imagination as we are presented with shots of Abigail at her eye level, and then gaze up at her, the mighty director, from a low angle, reminding us that a child’s mind is a powerful, creative force.
We even follow Abigail under the dining room table to finish her drawings. This heart-warming image of Abigail’s life, her habits, and her ambitious nature, also makes a striking point in its five minute running time. I’d bet good money that Abigail could single-handedly write a script for her own Captain Cowboy cartoon show, which I could fully imagine running on any good children’s television channel. We spend all this money on these children’s writing courses to find the next author or director or laser-zapping-evil-doctor creating cartoonist, when really we need look no further than the little body that’s sitting at our very own dining room table.
I think the future looks bright for Abigail, and as she plays with her pink ‘Vtech’ camera, I wish her every success for the future! No doubt she really will be making audiences say “that was awesome!” one day. Although with her cool Captain Cowboy plot, she already has!