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Division (2024)

-Written by Kyle Bain

A mother and son are watched by someone known only as the “Other” (Paul Meyd). While the young boy, Renzo (Seraphim Sorokin-Hailey) practices for when the Other comes to visit, his sick mother, Sarah (Lauren Evans), must fight for her life. What’s to come is completely unknown, and Division follows the duo on an unlikely journey. 

Division is a low-budget film that has to rely on what it has available to allow viewers to suspend their disbelief and to buy into the premise of the story. It’s hard to jump right into Division, as there is a bit of a disconnect between the film itself and its audience. I can’t quite explain why there’s a disconnect, however, I attest it to the acting. The acting in Division feels like what you’d expect to see in a low-budget independent film. It’s certainly not bad, however, there are moments where the actors miss the mark, where emotion doesn’t hit quite as hard as it needed to. In those moments I sort of drifted from the film–and that’s where the challenge lies within Division, one that is particularly difficult to overcome. 

With that being said, there are moments strewn throughout the course of Division that allow viewers the opportunity to appreciate the relationship between Renzo and Sarah. There are instances that feel genuine, organic–and they elevate the film to a degree. As these scenes play out in this short film, I found myself connecting with both characters in different ways, helping to drive Division forward from a viewer’s perspective. 

I appreciate the contrast between color and black and white, as it strengthens the narrative, allowing viewers to step into the shoes of Renzo and better understand his predicament. This is the most powerful aspect of Division, this is what allowed me to best appreciate the film. As the film plays out we are able to see Renzo’s story from a series of unique perspectives, each of them often dictated by Writer-Director Clark Moses’ use of color. 

Furthermore, color helps to develop tone, to reel viewers in and allow them to better understand and appreciate Renzo’s journey. Division is intended to have a darker, heavier tone transcend its entirety–and I believe that the intention is effectively delivered. Again, the use of color versus black and white is what helps to facilitate many of the technical aspects of Division, which allows viewers to connect with the film despite some of its flaws. 

The narrative itself is a tad cumbersome, and there are pieces of this film that I’m still not entirely sure that I understand. There’s a lot going on in such a short amount of time, and I don’t believe that everything is fleshed out to the degree that it needs to be. Division falters from time to time, missing opportunities to appeal to viewers–however, there are times when Moses uses his technical skill to create something vibrant and impressive. Like a roller coaster, Division consists of a lot of ups and downs, not quite finding an effective balance, but remaining interesting enough throughout to appeal to viewers. 

Written & Directed by Clark Moses III. 

Starring Seraphim Sorokin-Hailey, Lauren Evans, & Paul Meyd. 



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