“Bacon and God’s Wrath” is an unusual title for a short film, but it’s also a completely accurate description of the subject matter of Sol Friedman’s film, one of the finalists in TheWrap’s ShortList Film Festival.
The film is a wry, witty look at an elderly woman, Razie, who has always been a practicing Jew, but who becomes a non-believer late in life, fueled by her explorations on the Internet. As she nears her 90th birthday, Razie decides that she’s going to forgo her kosher ways and have her first taste of bacon.
“I made the film to encourage apostasy and to spread the message that it’s never too late to abandon your faith,” Friedman told TheWrap. He did so with a blend of live-action interviews with Razie, an old family friend, footage of her going to a diner for her first taste of bacon, and animated sequences that illustrate some dark stories from her life.
“My background is in animation, and it’s something that I really enjoy doing, but it’s also a great tool for making some dark bits a little more palatable,” he said.
At one point Friedman portrays himself as a pig’s head as he interviews Razie (“it was meant as a little joke about me being unclean,” he said), while at other times Razie is shot from above as she lies on a couch explaining her reasons for becoming an atheist.
Friedman said he opted for that approach, evoking a psychiatrist’s couch, “to suggest being supportive of a person challenging a taboo, while at the same time highlighting some of the damage done by faith.”
“Bacon and God’s Wrath” builds to the moment where Razie finally eats the bacon — a moment, crucially, that we never actually see.
“In the context of the film, the significance of the bacon and the moment itself, was entirely symbolic, so I thought it would be nice to focus more on the anticipation,” he said. “I also thought that despite how great bacon is, emphasizing how anticlimactic the experience is could be encouraging for others who may be considering taking the plunge.”
Watch the film above. Viewers can also screen the films at any time during the festival at Shortlistfilmfestival.com and vote from Aug. 9-23.