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The Independent Critic

Directed by: Jesse Rowe
Written by:
Jesse Rowe, Jordan Barrett
Starring:
Michael Dylan, Siobhan Daly, Hannes Flaschberger, Robert Vernon
Running Time:
12 Mins.
Release Date: March 26, 2009
Festivals: Twin Rivers Media Festival
 "Ash Wednesday" Review 
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On April 4, 1992, Bosnia declared its independence. The United Nations quickly accepts Bosnia as a new nation, and the nation erupts into celebration. A mere two days later, two United Nations Peacekeepers, Marie (Siobhan Daly) and David (Michael Dylan), are traveling across the nation as part of their peacekeeping mission when they encounter a Serbian checkpoint. Led by Commander Ratko (Hannes Flaschberger) and the impulsive General Zoran (Robert Vernon), the Serbian rebels aren't exactly in agreement with Bosnian independence and are determined to disrupt the fledgling nation's peaceful independence.

A modestly budgeted indie short co-written by Jesse Rowe and Jordan Barrett and directed by Rowe, Ash Wednesday is an ambitious and intelligent short film capturing the very beginning of the Bosnian genocide that cost the lives of over 100,000 Bosnians and over 100 UN Peacekeepers who tried to help.

Ash Wednesday, shot in England but featuring a cast that actually speaks Serbian throughout the film, has so far played in five film festivals throughout the world, thus far, including two in the United States, the Secret City Film Festival and the Twin Rivers Media Festival in 2009. While the film is hindered by its modest budget, Ash Wednesday works because the filmmaker sticks to the task of telling an important story in clear and concise terms.

Among the cast, Hannes Flaschberger is the stand-out as Commander Ratko, a level-headed leader who feels as capable of a brutal massacre as he is an act of unexpected mercy. Adam Morris adds an original score that gives Ash Wednesday an added sense of urgency.
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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