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Stutterer [2015] is a short film following Greenwood, a bright typist suffering from a speech impediment that gives him great difficulty with basic verbal communication. After being offered a chance to meet with Ellie, a young woman he has been recently communicating with on the internet, Greenwood must make a decision about whether or not he should go through with meeting her and revealing who he is.

A character realized in a mere 12 minutes. What’s most remarkable about Stutterer is how well it examines Greenwood in such a short runtime. In mere minutes, we learn about his condition, how it frustrates him, how he copes with it, and how he attempts to remain as a part of society despite his difficulties. This disability is juxtaposed against the narration of Greenwood that we’re provided- internally, he speaks verbose, perfectly understandable English, which makes his external attempts at speaking all the more frustrating. And externally, we’re shown what this narration is contrasted against- a person walking up to us on the street may not even be notable for most of us, but for Greenwood it is a vastly difficult and embarrassing situation.

A look at communication. One of the most interesting things about this film is how non-verbal forms of communications are shown as alternatives to speaking, and what the limits of these forms are. A bank teller talking to Greenwood via the telephone conversation interprets his measured attempts at annunciation as some kind of prank call and promptly hangs up on him. Greenwood’s Facebook messaging with Ellie presents us with the messages they send each other, which allows Ellie to presumably assume things about Greenwood, which causes his own crisis when she actually wants to meet up with him in person. When Greenwood doesn’t receive a response to one of his messages to Elli, he’s unsure if he’s now been rejected by Ellie or if something else has happened. The film shows these things as examples of the ways that we communicate in the modern age, and how they do have their own limitations and nuances that are different from speaking to others face-to-face.

Stutterer is an intriguing short about communication.

Stutterer
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