VIFF ’21: ‘Things We Feel But Do Not Say’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

There are many moments in your life where you make the conscious decision not to say anything at all. At the time, it feels like it’s the right thing to do, to keep quiet and let it go. Many situations can affect people differently, even if they are minor. Majority of us overthink every little thing and replay conversations or moments in our heads. We always question if we should have said something in that moment, but we also think, would it have changed anything at all in that situation?

We meet Genevieve (Gita Miller), who is young and healthy, at her local swim club. Right after her class, she makes a discovery that renders her literally speechless. She texts “It’s happening” to her husband (Aaron Ashmore), virtually the only words she will speak throughout Lauren Grant’s short film Things We Feel But Do Not Say. Grant captures Genevieve’s pain through the numbness on Miller’s face. Her performance carried so much weight through this short because of the emotions creeping through in quiet, isolated moments.

When her husband and doctors speak consoling words, it’s like background noise. It shows more of the individual suffering of Genevieve. It felt as if the husband was very distant and emotionless. It also felt like the blame of the miscarriage was one-sided because of how strained the relationship felt. Miller really showed the entire spectrum of grief in a short period of time. There are powerful, intimate moments that Grant frames extremely well, in order to feel for Genevieve’s situation.

Things We Feel But Do Not Say is an emotional, in-depth look at a woman who has experienced so much pain while trying to conceive. What Grant shows is the mental strength it takes for someone to hide the pain, even from the ones closest to you. Genevieve was going through the motions in her everyday life, but she wasn’t present in the moment. She was hiding a part of herself to protect herself from the outside world. It’s a poignant short film and a great debut from Lauren Grant.

The short film is currently making its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

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