The Robbery | Sundance and SXSW Short


We have seen lots of single take robbery films but this short holds because of the startling performance and a really dramatic situation. It is so rapid, restless and unpredictable and at a point the tension increased so much that one of us had to pause the film and just root for the character. "She is just stupid, she is not bad!" Also in a reversal of tropes, we see a female trying to rob a liquor store and not a male and everything she does feel justified though foolish in her micro-universe.

Lots of credit goes to the lead actor Crystal played by the talented Rae Gray who is utterly watchable, almost hypnotic in her freneticism. Crystal has an unnatural superficial attitude. She talks incessantly as she is addicted to her mobile. The events are falling and she has a naive unawareness. We’re laughing at Crystal yet we’re feeling empathy and tenderness for her.

The story, written  by Jim Cummings in collaboration with his friend Dustin Hahn, was inspired by a real life episode that Hahn told Jim. A friend of Dustin, under the influence of drugs, robbed a liquor store and then tried to use a taxi as a get-away car.