It’s going to be very interesting to see the types of stories we’ll be seeing that dissect the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns (the number of which depends upon the country you live in). We’ve already started to see documentaries, one in the form of 76 Days, directed by Hao Wu and Weixi Chen. Then there’s Adam Mason’s feature, Songbird for example. Our 2020 Festival featured a couple to include Noella Mingo’s Forgotten.
(Amanda Bright as ‘Kayla’)
(Actors: Adjoa Andoh, David Newman, Amanda Bright, Amit Shah)
Filmmaking team Amanda and Steve Bright, bring their industry lockdown offering in the short film The Lennox Report.
‘Kayla’ is a professional working from home during lockdown. Her supervisor has to leave a project because he falls ill, which means that responsibilities must fall to other people. These people are ‘Kayla’ and her colleague ‘Mark’ who’re thrust together to meet the demands of a forceful manager in the form of the indomitable Adjoa Andoh fresh from her Bridgerton high.
The Lennox Report follows single woman ‘Kayla’ who lives alone. She navigates very real societal tenets around friendship (she has white friends who’re a little bit too ‘down’ with ‘the culture’). Family relationships (‘Kayla’s’ mother is played by Doreen Blackstock, who incidentally didn’t look old enough to play anyone’s mother!). Isolation and feelings of separation, loneliness, anxiety and a sense of belonging. Beauty standards and identity, i.e. the performance that black women do in employment that demonstrates their ‘duty’ to conform. And love and romance (yeah, like…how do we do that without physical touching?).
These themes underpin The Lennox Report, themes that seem to have been magnified during lockdown and, as we pass through this weird time in human history, they’re being analysed in film. The film handles the societal isms with some dexterity and not with the proverbial sledge-hammer to labour a lofty point that such stories often come with.
We spend much of the film watching the narrative take place using an online video conferencing platform, in this instance called ‘whoosh’. In the first few minutes of the film, you could be forgiven for thinking that watching said screen might be a tad too much, but the storytelling, the acting and the genuine sweet tones of the film straddles that hurdle successfully to bring us a genuinely uplifting story.