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Film Review: Post Office
by Karen Pecota

Directors Courtney Loo and David Karp present a riveting storyline in the short film Post Office. Loo and Karp present their short narrative dealing with a heavy subject matter when misconceptions and language barriers determine a harsh reality for those living in a country not their own with unforeseen consequences. Loo and Karp ask, "What if someone requires help along the way and when we decide to do the right thing (to be that Good Samaritan), what happens when the good intentions backfire?"

Francis is hurriedly driving on a busy freeway with her two children in the car. She notices a very young child wandering aimlessly off the side of the road dangerously nearing the high-speed passing cars. The child is alone with no adult nearby.

Concerned, Francis pulls over on the side of the road, tells her children to stay in the car as she jumps out of the car leaving her car door open. Francis tells her children she is going to the young child to see if she can help. Francis calls 911 to report the incident. Francis, a Chinese-American, reaches the child, tries to communicate but there is a language barrier. Francis believes the child might understand Mandarin but she does not speak it.

Perplexed by the deserted landscape and concerned no adult is looking for the child, Francis notices a small building. She tries to take the child toward it hoping that is where she will find an adult. The child begins to cry and resists Francis's kind intentions and gestures. In the meantime, a police officer arrives on the scene by chance, sees the car door open with two children inside but cannot see Francis helping the young child from afar until another lady comes out of the small building and appears to run toward the child screaming in a foreign language. The police officer finds the situation strange, and in his assessment chooses to lash out at Francis for abandoning her own children. Francis feels misunderstood and misrepresented in her attempt to do a good deed.

Loo and Karp explore a tale of two immigrates: a lost heritage of one Chinese-Amercian woman, and a harsh reality facing another of survival in a country not her own. Both women need assistance and look to be understood, but, are sadly disappointed.

If we could walk in the shoes of another, would it make a difference how to care for humanity as cultures intermingle?