No matter how old you are, there's always the question: "What is the next step?" When you have passed through all the expected hoops, be it high school graduation, college, career, family, etc., there is terror in the unknown. I think my friend knew that when she sent me this short film, The Scared Is Scared by young filmmaker, Bianca Giaever. We were still seniors in college at the time, but the first tinges of separation were already pulling at us. So if you are in the process of leaving any of the numerous safe zones in your life, you need to watch this film.
In this lovely short that came out back in Feb. 2013, Bianca Giaever interviews a 6-year-old named Asa. She asks him to tell her a story, and matches his voice to graphics and footage. He tells her a story of a bear and a mouse and their trip to a pool, and moves on to explain how he defeats his fear of leaving a place he loves. There are delightful catches to the film that match the catches in his voice. He tells you breathless details, stops, edits, and rushes along. Giaever is showing us what it is to be a child again, and how the giddy flow of ideas should be embraced rather than suppressed.
The scale of the film lends to its sense of comfort and intimacy. Giaever, a recent Middlebury College graduate, assembles a cast of characters that you could imagine running into at your own college. These are grown men dressing up as a bear and a mouse, and matching their words to the delightfully loopy script provided for them. I ached for my friends as I watched this, but it also helped me remember those moments in college when you are sharing a secret. You know your way up to the roof of the science building. The streakers will be coming through the library in approximately twenty minutes. There is only one good sandwich left in the to-go fridges.
This, in fact, is the narrator's point. Even though Asa Bear and Toby Mouse know the pool is closed for the winter, they can overcome that fear. As he tells it, "When the scared feeling comes into you, the scared is scared of all the things you like."