Review: SHHHH (2019)

Screenshot from SHHHH

What they forget to tell you when you’re expecting, is what to really expect. It’s all about ‘the blessing’ and ‘the purest joy’ of parenthood, which sometimes do come with “sleep now as much as you can, because you won’t later on”, but that piece of advice is always embelished by the other ‘oh so fantastic things’ about having a part of your physical DNA printed in a newborn baby.

As cute as they are, they are hell-raisers in their first months, especially when you are so tired that you can barely function. Sleepless nights. Early mornings. Feeding. Changing nappies. Those who have kids know what I’m talking about. They’ve been there, they’ve done that. But some kids are simply unbeatable in the crying department, as is the case in SHHHH, short genre drama by the Israeli director Jonathan Mordechai.

When the husband (Erez Driges) arrives home, the wife (Noa Koler) is already completely drained by their baby’s constant crying. The kid wakes up at the tiniest sound produced in the apartment, and needs constant attention by his mother. When he finally closes his eyes after he’s given a pacifier, the couple makes an attempt at dinner. The problem is, even eating soup can produce noises, and with every husband’s slurp, the woman loses it more and more. After being shhhhhhh-ed more times than he could have a spoonfull of soup, the husband loses it as well. The dialogue-free conflict explodes into an equally silent, but nevertheless quite physical war that ends in tragedy. But, since the final moment isn’t silent enough, the baby is quick to react.

SHHHH blends comedy and horror into a succesfull dramedy about adapting to a newborn, but it also projects our inner mental explosions and visions – fantasies about how we would or should silence someone who is unbearable, even if we love them.

We enjoyed watching it at SLASH film festival, where it competed in the short film competition.

Country: Israel
No dialogues
Year: 2019
Runtime: 13′
Producer: Rachel Deutch – BAR OP Productions
Directed by: Jonathan Mordechai
Written by: Haim Zubida
Cinematographer: Nir Weiss
Art Director: Yon Margolis
Editor: Ziv Karshen
Gaffer: Eric Raphael Mizrahi
Sound Design: Kobi Vitman
Post-production: Gravity
Special Effects: Mili Rendner
Makeup Artist: Inbar Sela
Costume Design: Shany Bar Nes
Cast: Erez Driges; Noa Koler, Tommy H. Harpaz