One thing that I’m enjoying about reviewing films now is that it offers the opportunity to see films I may not otherwise get a chance to see. I received the screener for “A Thin Camel” the other day and the first thing I’ll say is that the concept of the film was what got me first. I then watched it for the second time paying closer attention to the more technical aspects of the film. Thus, I begin my review of the movie directed by Carolyn Moore and written and created by John Rice of Rice Films.
“ A Thin Camel” tells the story of a young businessman by the name of George (Rob Stone) who meets untimely death when, by accident, he steps in front of an oncoming motorist. The next thing he knows, he is waking up in a rather sunny pasture and a complete contrast to the cement covered urban setting he had just been in with his fellow co-workers. Upon waking in the field, George encounters a mysterious stranger by the name of Michael (David Dietz). Next to Michael sits George’s worldly possessions from his physical life. As George approaches Michael, Michael breaks the news in a not so gentle fashion that George has actually died. In complete disbelief, George tries to remain convinced that he is merely dreaming and not actually dead. He then embarks on a journey through what appears to be a type of limbo or purgatory. George encounters other individuals along the way. As we get to know each of the other characters, it is discovered that each is seeking a path he or she is to be on and coming to terms with letting go of worldly possessions or ‘burdens.’ The film offers a glimpse into George’s struggle to come to accept his fate.
The film itself is well-shot and anyone with an interest in entertainment pertaining to the afterlife and near death experiences will very likely find the story interesting. The acting is pretty solid on everyone’s part, which helps in a movie that is all dialogue, plot, and character development and devoid of thrills and scares. The film calls to question one’s true need for material possessions, a concept that can very well fit with today’s materialistic and new technology obsessed society. I don’t think too many can deny that if all the material possessions and new technological gadgets went away tomorrow, many in the current world would be at a complete loss on not only a physical level, but possibly an emotional, mental, and spiritual level. Perhaps our shallow possessions are the partial cause of our human burdens?
I would put “A Thin Camel” in the category of being a psychological drama. There is no glitz or thrills, but a good solid story and plot that nudges the viewer on an intellectual level. I don’t think I’d recommend this film if you’re having the boys over for a beer, pizza, and movie night (unless that beer, pizza, and movie night would be accompanied by deep conversation over the beer and pizza). But if you’re in the mood for a movie that offers a story of someone’s journey to self-discovery on a more spiritual level, then this may be worth checking out.