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Magnesium - Film Review
by Karen Pecota

Silent and golden are the words that come to mind regarding a student project from the Netherlands that landed a spot in the Sundance 2013 short film selection. Directed by filmmaker Sam de Jong and screenwriter Shady El-Hamus Magnesium is a portrayal about life choices. Decisions made that are life altering and bare consequences.

Jong and El-Hamus tell a gripping short story about an Olympian gymnast hopeful, Isabel (Denise Tan), who is told by a doctor she must endure a cooling off period of five days before a decided abortion. This is a State law bearing reflection on the implications from such a decision. Isabel confronts her demons for the duration of the narrative.

With very little dialogue the filmmakers allow the audience to follow Isabel during the five days after the news of her pregnancy. The positive result comes at the least opportune time for her career. Isabel\'s body is already beginning to adjust to the life inside of her causing the team trainers to notice something is different. Isabel needs to be in top form for the upcoming qualifying meet and struggles to endure the hardcore training on her body.

We (the audience) see Isabel doing life as usual--keeping up with her strained daily routine as a gymnast-in-training. We feel the intensity and weight put on Isabel's shoulders forced to contemplate her decision. The drama of Isabel's heart-wrenching dilemma is creatively executed with the films' deliberate pace and stunning close-up visuals.

Magnificent raw story telling via the moving picture is Magnesium. The filmmakers Sam de Jong and Shady El-Hamus will be names to keep on your radar for future film projects; as will cinematographer, Paul Ozgur, musician Alekes Vuskovic and film producers Marloes de Rijke, Beau van Assew and Alexander van Damme. For your viewing pleasure the film can be viewed on VIMEO.