“Far-Right Ladies Night”, “Neo-Nazi Karens Are Your Worst Nightmare”: some of the review titles for this disturbingly immersive one-shot film about the horror that hides in everyday life. Soft and Quiet holds the viewer’s hand firmly and makes us grasp a dark side of humanity. Between warning and shock, a film about the potential and dire consequences of a white supremacist mentality.
Beth de Araújo had already made short films where she explored heavy themes, including drug addiction, in the short Chevy Chase, with Stefanie Estes (with whom she collaborates again here, now in the role of the protagonist Emily). But Soft & Quiet is a film that follows very real monsters and takes their rampant and worrying ideology to its culmination. The director, the daughter of a Chinese-American mother and a Brazilian father, sees the story as having personal as well as societal contours, basing it on news events and an investigation into the bowels of the “tradlife” movement, with misogynistic and xenophobic associations. The director doesn’t see herself as being working in the horror genre, but it’s hard to see the shot of the homemade pie with a swastika drawn on and not feel the biggest shiver possible. This is because, despite the title, the gut punch you feel is neither soft nor quiet. (Ana Cabral Martins)