Video Review: Sia & Kendrick Lamar “The Greatest”

Inside a jail cell, about twenty or so people are asleep. In a hallway, children and teens are sprawled out. By a door, about fifteen are huddled together.

Behind a cement wall, with a splash of white, Maddie Ziegler rubs teal paint from the bottom of her eyes to her chin. She looks to the camera, heaving deep breaths, as her chest rises and falls.

In a part of a warehouse, Ziegler is calling for everyone to get up. Her ears won’t stop ringing and no one seems to know she is there to help.  She bursts into tears.

Back inside the jail cell, everyone gets up and cocks their head back and forth. Ziegler kicks the door open and runs down the hallway and up the stairs. She stopped on the steps, telling to people to go, go, go as they followed her.

Down another hallway, she does a cartwheel. She tells people to stay strong and that it’s all going to be all right. The people she has rescued so far begin to perform a choreographed routine. A few of the people faint. She tells them to get up and fight. Ziegler then checks to see if the children and adults she found in the hallway are all right. She tries to entertain them with funny faces to keep their mind off the danger.

She runs down a darkened hallway by herself. In another room, she finds people lined against the wall. Ziegler twirls in the center. They then join her in a dance routine. She bobs her head and then leaves the room.

The camera finds her against cement wall, eyes closed. She wakes up, her eyes bugging and shields herself. She puts on a smile and puts pressure on her mouth to open it.

The wall, behind her is now a blood red, as she makes a funny face. Everyone is gathered in the room next to her, lit in turquoise. They all dance together and then, bounce up and down sticking their tongues out. Then, they all fall to the floor in unison. The ringing starts again.

In the center, Ziegler sleeps and then opens her eyes. The group is huddled by the door. The children and adults are again sprawled out in the hallway. Against the now blood red wall, Ziegler cries. She tries to compose herself but then she closes her eyes as the tears stream down her face.


Rating: 5/5

When Ziegler awakes, she believes there is still a chance. They can be saved. She herds everyone together, finds an escape route but returns back to the same place she was.

It is then against the blood red brick wall she realizes she is dead. It was only the last breaths of her soul that were still alive, clinging to whatever bit of life she had. She wanted to help the injured people she saw. Unfortunately, she couldn’t. All those lives lost – children, men, women – who won’t ever see their families again.

A massacre has occurred. From an American standpoint, the nonstop shootings which have been commonplace, are treated like blurbs unless there is a severe amount of tragedy. The video reminds people who the victims are. They are not only faces printed on the newspaper or posted online. They were real and had dreams. Some had children. Some were going to college. Some didn’t make it past elementary school.  They were real and need to be remembered.

Directors: Sia & Daniel Askill  Year: 2016

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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