Das Kleid (The Dress)

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Klaus, an elderly, traditional, German man is awaiting the arrival of his daughter and grandson. His daughter, Mia, drops off her son on the weekends to go volunteer at a medical clinic. Klaus and his grandson, 7-year old Jordan, clash frequently due to the generation gap and Jordan’s lack of German culture. Klaus and his grandson go back and forth throughout the day, and Klaus is pushed to his limits once Jordan retaliates as his grandfather is trying to teach him greetings in German. Klaus drags Jordan to the room, grounding him. As Jordan sits in the room, he begins to explore his surroundings to keep himself entertained as most children would. He fiddles with a tennis racket and his eye catches a fragment of green cotton trapped in between the doors of a closet. When he opens the closet, he is mesmerized by a beautiful green dress. He puts on the dress. He feels empowered by this new look. While Jordan gets lost in his own world, his grandpa comes in only to crush his moment of happiness. Klaus lectures Jordan that dresses are only for girls and goes to take it off of him, but in the midst of the altercation, Klaus tears the fabric. A few hours pass and Klaus tries to make peace with Jordan, offering him some German cookies. Jordan eases into the offer and spots a sewing machine in the living room. He tells Klaus that sewing is for girls, giving his grandfather a shifted perspective on his own values. When Jordan tells Klaus that wearing the dress brings him happiness, Klaus has an epiphany and a wave of empathy for his grandson. As Jordan sleeps, Klaus puts the dress into his backpack, accepting the idea of when you love someone, you have to love every side of them.

Directed by Ethan Ardalan (Canada)

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