Running through an emotional experience that’s both exhilarating and terrifying, Magnesium treats the audience with a moving dramatic experience on multiple levels.
Spanning on a decent 20 minutes, this Dutch student film directed by Sam De Jong and written by Shady El-Hamus became a standout favorite in the recent Sundance Film Festival 2013. It also bagged the Best Graduation Project in KNF Prize (2012) and several awards in the Netherlands Film Festival (2012).
Exploring familiar themes in an unconventional environment, the film tells us the story of young talented gymnast Isabel (Denise Tan) as she makes a life-changing discovery days before an important tournament, which may be her last chance to reach the top.
At the beginning of the film, Isabel was told by a doctor to wait five days before she can undergo an abortion. With a major tournament on sight, Isabel is pressured into having her abortion without telling anyone.
The treatment on the character of Isabel was built on a solid foundation. Scene after scene, the lip-sealed gymnast did not indulge the audience any sign of weakness or breakdown. This frigid, focused attitude from the main character flawlessly translates into tension and tightness—the very emotions that Isabel might have felt at that very moment.
Magnesium tumbles its way through levels of emotions portraying a determined individual consumed by its environment. As this film balances in between tension and intensity, we are left into a cinematic trance with a few breaths to catch.