Panita Chanrasmi

Writer | Director | Producer

GREATER SIN

The film opens in a beautiful yet modest French Gothic church, where Father Frank, our main protagonist, is troubled by the impossible decision that he must make - to let a man go to prison for a crime that he did not commit, or to go to the police with what he has heard, and break the seal of the confessional, giving up his whole life as a priest. Which is the "Greater Sin"?

In Father's Frank tale of morality, told through a series of moments from the point of view of a young girl, Elena, whose face is hidden through the confessional booth as well as through the flashbacks, the viewer is taken on a journey of self-doubt. The powerful short challenges us and raises questions about strict religious rules and whether or not there's ever a valid reason to bend them, while creating a strong bond between the viewer and the main character through shared experiences of feeling like sometimes, the "right" thing somehow feels "wrong", and what our society dictates as "wrong" feels "right", reminding us that the world is not always so black and white. 

The other compelling main theme of the film is another that allows the audience to easily identify with Father Frank and Elena's struggle with feeling powerless in front of figures of hierarchy in our society, and their goal to retake their power, in a way. For Elena, it's punishing her stepdad for his unforgivable crime of abuse against her and her mother, and for Father Frank, it's by making an ultimate sacrifice and stepping up in ways that no superior or mentor of his could ever dare think of. It is this shared defiance of the cowards who turn a blind eye to the crimes that surround them that marks the beauty of the film, in spite of the fact that the two characters, although connected by this powerful value, have never even shared a face-to-face encounter.

Produced by Panita Chanrasmi-Lefebvre. Written and Directed by Akinwumi Osunkoya. Starring Michael Simon Hall and Elena Paloumbis. Cinematography by Vic Roxas.