35mm, 21.30 minutes, colour, dolby SRD 1:1.85
Written and Directed by Phillip Barker
The notion that a camera can capture a subject’s soul is explored through this story about a photographer and a film processor.
This non-dialogue film is based on the myth The Soul Cages that tells of a mortal man who risks his life by swimming underwater to free the souls of drowned sailors. Captured by a spirit, the souls are held in clay pots at the bottom of the ocean.
Genie Nomination for Best Live Action Short Drama
Best Canadian Short Film, Atlantic Film Festival, Halifax
Best Film, Audience Choice, Local Heroes, Canada, Winnipeg
Best Cinematography, Short Film, Canadian Society of Cinematographers
In the collection of Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany
“Soul Cages, yet another subtle, gorgeous reflection on looking. Barker's films are in perfect balance, a rare feat.”
- Cameron Bailey, 10 best filmmakers, Now Magazine
“Playfully surreal, Soul Cages revels in the sheer pleasure of the visual. In this delightfully engaging film Barker confronts the properties of the photographic image, a subject he first tackled in the lyrically evocative, A Temporary Arrangement (1995)…. In a fascinating look at the tension between the literal and the metaphorical properties of the photographic image, Barker intelligently alludes to everything from the theoretical notions of photography's relation to death to the superstition that the act itself steals the subject's soul. Adding to the mix, Barker takes the relationship between the photographer and the developer through a series of inversions that enlightens the whole notion of voyeurism, turning the simple question "who's watching whom?" into a provocative inquiry.”
-Barbara Goslawski, Take One Magazine