Jordanne – Review (The Shortest Nights)

The Shortest Nights: Strong Programme

A varied programme of films that explore the many natures of the modern female.

This review is one of several I’ll be doing from The Shortest Nights programme. To briefly introduce the event on the 21st of June Short Sighted Cinema are launching an all day celebration of short films in London. It will contain seven new programmes of shorts for people to enjoy (click here for details). In the run up to the 21st I’m going to take a look at a selection of films from these programmes in order to give you a flavour of the event. Today I take a look at Jordanne from the Strong programme…

Jordanne is a short documentary about Jordanne Whiley MBE. Whiley is the disabled tennis player who, at fourteen years old, became Britain’s youngest women’s singles champion in wheelchair tennis. The short documentary is an interesting genre of short films because it places such pressure on the narrative to tell an honest story, give a sense of the person documented and try to suggest more than what’s on screen so the viewer can go away thoughtful and intrigued. It’s a tall order that fictional short films can meet easier as they are able to get away with cutting corners and condensing narrative in ways that a documentary struggles to achieve.

This documentary achieves what it sets out to do. It doesn’t opt to artistically imply anything but instead simply tells a condensed and informative account of who Jordanne Whiley is and what she has struggled against. The most praiseworthy element is that the material doesn’t feel rushed, despite its tiny running time it allows every element to breathe and inform our understanding of Jordanne and her story.

We can’t expect to come away from this feeling like we truly know Jordanne, instead it acts as a powerful snapshot. We are granted a brief and well balanced look into her world, one which doesn’t overstep its mark in terms of emotional manipulation, and which we can come away from wanting to research more about Jordanne and her lifestory. It’s exciting to discover such a strong and interesting figure in the sporting world.

Stay tuned for more reviews in the lead up to The Shortest Nights!

Shortest Nights

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