The 2011 Nantucket Film Festival has come to a close, but it was a good week while it lasted. Standouts included “Cars 2”, “Being Elmo” and of course the All-Star Comedy Round Table presented by Ben Stiller with Seth Meyers, Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn and Aziz Ansari. One film that managed to slip under the radar was the astonishingly beautiful “Thief”, a short film about a boy who meets Saddam Hussein in 1959 and then once again forty years later when the two are old men.
The short is directed by Julian A. Higgins and written by Higgins and Matthew Wieland. No other film had me as deeply involved as this the entire festival. During the climax of the short (again, the climax of the short) I could barely breathe with excitement over the intensity of the film. A product of the American Film Institute, Higgins is a skilled filmmaker with only one feature length film and one other short to his name before tackling this project. Higgins handles tension in film with great aplomb and the sense of urgency and tension created in the climax of “Thief” reminded me of the feeling felt at times in Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (coincidentally, both films take place in Iraq).
If you are attending a festival where “Thief” is screening or have the opportunity to view it, do so. It is a gem of a film and I cannot wait for more from Mr. Julian A. Higgins.