Spotlight: "In the Absence" and Other Oscar-Nominated Short Docs

By David Schonauer   Thursday February 6, 2020

When disaster strikes, whom should you listen to?

That question lies at the heart of In the Absence, one of the short documentaries nominated for an Oscar this year.

The 28-minute film focuses on a passenger ferry, the  M.V. Sewol, that sank while traveling between the South Korean city of Incheon and Jeju Island, on April 16, 2014. As the vessel listed and began to sink, leadership broke down and passengers were told to “Stay put.”

Too late, he order was given to evacuate. “Most survivors did not recall hearing any such command, and the absence of an orderly and structured escape plan multiplied the losses,” noted The New Yorker last April, when the film was first released.

Short of the Week calls the blow-by-blow documentary, which comes from of Field of Vision, a big name in short documentary filmmaking,  “a gut-punch, an urgent piece of investigatory journalism where the methodical nature of its process barely masks a deeper anger.”

“How many could have been saved if the evacuation had taken place immediately, or if there had been clear procedures and a hierarchy of communication in place?” adds The New Yorker. “What if the people onboard, instead of obeying misguided orders and waiting for instructions that never came, had decided to fend for themselves? South Korean law enforcement and the families and friends of the victims have grappled with these questions in the aftermath.”

While, the captain and 14 other members of the crew were later convicted on charges related to the sinking, the families of the dead are still haunted by questions.

Below is the powerful film. Go here for an interview with the film's director, Yi Seung-Jun, and its producer, Gary Byung-Seok Kam.

Meanwhile, here is a look at the other Oscar-nominated short documentaries this year:

Learning to Skate in a War Zone If You’re aGirl
Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva

Life Overtakes Me
John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson

St.Louis  Superman
Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

Walk, Run,Cha-Cha
Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt


  1. jian song commented on: March 20, 2020 at 9:58 p.m.
    Buy 2fdck Etizolam Efedrine HCl, Meth, Lsd, Mdma, MDPV, Ketamine hcl,5-Meo-Dalt,25i-nbome Email : jiansong19­ Skype : chupacker1 We provide and export high quality research chemicals in large and small quantities ... our products is as below: Our products are of high purity (above 99%).( Please email to ) BK-EBDP, 4CMC, 4CEC, 2NE1 + APICA, 3,4-CTMP, 3-FPM, 3-MMC 4-FA, 4-MEEC, 5-APB, 5-EAPB, 5-Mapb, 5-MeO-DALT 5-MeO-DIBF, 5F-AKB-48, 5F-PB22, 6-APB, 6-APDB, A-PVP AB-CHMINACA, AB-FUBINACA, AB-FUBINACA, Acetildenafil AL-LAD (NEW), AM-1220, AM-2201, AM-2233 AMT, BB-22 + QUCHIC Etizolam Diclazepam, Diphenidine, Ephenidine, Ethylphenidate Etizolam, Evoke, Flubromazepam, Flubromazolam, Funky Buddha Funky Silber Buddha, Isopropylphenidate, M & ms MAM-2201 Marleys Magie, MDAI (NEU) MDPV Methiopropamine Methoxetamine Methoxphenidine Methylone Metizolam Mexedrone (NEU) Modafiendz MPA and 5MD Nifoxipam NM-2201 NM-2AI Pentedron Phenzacaine Pyrazolam High Sky Smokey Smokey X STS-135 Synthacaine THJ-018 THJ-2201 UR-144 ADRAFINIL (crystal or powder) DOC25 (white powder) Dibutylone (crystal) ADRAFINIL (powder and crystal) TH-PVP 4-CPRC - We offer discrete and reliable packaging and delivery. - fast and reliable shipping within 48 hours, using courier service, DHL, EMS, TNT, FEDEX, UPS, those are in stock and we only sell items above 99%, if you interest us Cite the best for u. Contact us now for more details. Email : Skype : chupacker1

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now

Motion Arts Pro