‘Brothers’ is directed by Randy Kerr, and is about a relationship between 3 brothers and fly fishing. The story begins with a narration from the storyteller; “What it is about the river, and it’s harsh conditions, that feels so much like home?” during the narration, we’re shown these beautiful and shots of a river in front of an incredible backdrop, like a Bob Ross paint that’s come to life. We also see 3 brothers fly fishing, while the narrator discusses what this hobby means to him, to his family, and the message that the river represents to him, to never give up. It’s a story about brotherhood and family, and with the beautiful cinematography and message, I consider this short a must-see for any family.
The story isn’t so much about fly fishing, but more about what fly fishing means to this family. The way this family treats fishing as a sacred place, where the troubles and stresses of life wash away with the current. How it inspires to never give up on your dreams and to always rely on your family to build yourself up. The narration is edited perfectly with what you see on screen, and the message resonates clearly with anyone who has such family bonding rituals. The story is easily relatable, and the beauty of ‘Brothers’ message is universal for anyone, whether you have a typical family, or even define family as those closest to you that you love.
The thing that I noticed most while watching this short is how swept away I was by the cinematography. I love the way this film looks right down to the tiniest pebble in the water. They picked an absolutely fabulous location to film the fishing scenes that look like a big budget film. I loved the choices they made with the camerawork, on how they chose to shoot the fly fishing scenes in more of a slowed down and majestic perspective that enhanced the narration and kept the tone very steady and epic.
The lighting and sound are both very good, especially given that the director had to work with what I’m assuming is only natural lighting. On a technical level that is very difficult to accomplish, and for an independent film to have so much gravitas and scope in their camerawork is a big accomplishment that should be considered. The music choices are also very important to the tone of the film, it starts out somber, and increasingly becomes more powerful and grand, and when the crescendo hits its highest point, I felt completely moved by its intensity.
I have never myself fished for steelheads like the brothers in this short had, but I felt and related to everything in this film. It has a universal message of family, of what it means to be in a family, and with the narrator’s message of bonding over something that is bigger than just one person. ‘Brother’ has a feel-good message about bonding, about bonding, and is a perfect example of what independent film can be.