A man, with dark sunglasses, lights a cigarette, and watches his corner. A helicopter flies over the city and lands inside a hidden airstrip. In the building, a stern little boy sits across from Mariela, waiting for her answer. An older man turns and looks to Diego, thinking it’s not going to work. Mariela stares at the table and then looks behind her shoulder. There, are her relatives. None who lived to see the progress they wanted. The helicopter flies back out for another run.
Earlier, she had been passing through the hallway to get to the subway train. She eyes the screen that reads her body language. The military policeman walks past and she is safe for the moment. A fortysomething gentleman gives her a quick, fearful look as the military police scan his head. A woman in a red dress watches her as the subway train rolls inside. She rushes to get on.
On every street, there are military police. Through mirrors, one watches as she and her friends hang out. She takes a drag from her cigarette and throws her head back, trying to make her expression unreadable from the man who is spying on her. Later, at a party, she takes a photograph with her friend. She stays in the corner, moving her head but not talking much. In the middle of the party, an older gentleman stares at her.
Two helicopters fly back to the building. On the rooftop below, Andreas tells Diego that as rebels, the police are watching them all the time. One false move and they all disappear. Diego says that he understands but he says it’s Mariela who can handle the responsibility. Andreas, with his hand on his head, is hesitant. She is no relation to him, unlike Diego. Diego responds that Mariela is just like Andreas.
Back in the building, Mariela cries as Andreas tells her what she needs to do. Frustrated, Andreas says it’s necessary and the rebels are depending on her. The older gentleman performs a protection ritual for her. He blows smoke by the side of her face while she sits in the chair, holding her tears in, afraid of what will happen to her.
The man, with dark sunglasses, lasers a tattoo of two eyes on her shoulder. Meanwhile, military police have entered the building. Some are taking the elevator. They have surrounded the entire building.
As she leaves the building, she looks at a car. Just by her look, the car elevates. Stunned at her power, she runs through the cubes. Sitting next to a man on the motorcycle, she puts on her helmet Military police chase them while they speed off. Diego waits for the military police. Not much longer now.
There’s more to tell as the screen reads “To Be Continued”
Taking inspiration from George Orwell’s 1984, in “Holding On” a wrong look could get someone killed. Mariela has learned to control her emotions, keep her face blank and know that someone is always watching. Her family had been rebels for as long as she could remember. Nonetheless, she stayed away as her uncle Diego got further involved. However, it’s suspected that the military police are disappearing people for even the smallest slight. Something has to be done. Mariela, despite her fears, knows her it’s time to step up and be brave.
It’s the start of a compelling story, leading to a much anticipated second installment. Much like a serial television show, will we find out Mariela and Andreas’ secret? Will Diego survive? What is the rebels’ plan?
Director: Ryan Hope Year: 2015
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