Adapted from the Jack London story: A fur thief must think fast to escape the terrible, protracted death that awaits him at the hands of the native tribe he had helped enslave.
Lost Face takes us in a time and place not often seen nor explores in short films, which makes this film quite fascinating at first glimpse. And then there is simply the perfect execution and production, lead by Sean Meehan, who knew how to draw out the rawness of people, situation and setting. The film is based on a classic story by legendary writer Jack London about a man out of place and out of time.
In mid-1800’s Russian America, Subienkow finds himself the second-to-last survivor of a group of Russian fur-thieves who have just been defeated by liberators from the local tribe they have enslaved as forced labour. Now Subienkow faces a long, protracted and painful death unless he can come up with a plan for escape.
Subienkow calls over the tribe’s chief, Makamuk and he begins to barter. What follows is a power play between the two men, and Yakuga, a recently freed slave, who doubts the legitimacy of Subienkow’s offer even as he begins to question the wisdom of his tribe’s chief.
The film’s exploration in character depth builds an enforcing dynamic and structure balancing the power of words and influence. The result risen from a formidable performance by the cast, is a strong and memorable film taking us to an untypical time and place.
I decided to make Lost Face after trying and failing several times to secure government funding for various short film projects over the years. In the end, I saved up and self-funded the film in the hope that it might lead to longer form projects in the future. I have one finished feature film screenplay I’m trying to put together and I’m writing another now.