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Push This Button If You Begin To Panic
Push This Button If You Begin To Panic

– Review by Melanie Münninghoff

The animation film from Gabriel Böhmer, follows the character Bartholomew Whisper who goes on an adventure to the doctor’s. Throughout this journey full of offers for experimental surgeries and lonely MRI machines one is accompanied by the soughing voice of Michael Paoli. Just as in Böhmer’s previous short films Beetle Trouble (2017) and The Flood Is Coming (2018), Samantha Monk lead the production of the film. His artistic expertise is connected with a deep interest in memory, dreams and thoughts, which he realizes through minimalistic imagery. This interest is reflected in the 13 minutes in which one can literally see into Bartholomew’s head while he is reflecting on the events that happened to him at the doctor’s.

The film is a witty visual representation of the absurdity of the British health care system. With its dry humor, it comments on what constitutes health and diseases. It further tackles the everyday experience of those who suffer from illnesses that are nameless or undetectable. On the one hand, the fragmentation and the minimalistic approach of the constructed world underline the impersonality of the medical world. On the other hand, it leaves room to project one’s own feelings and experiences about this subject into the film. It is noticeable how the most humanlike among the characters is Bartholomew Whisper, those who are most unrecognizable are the health care staff. The characters who work within health care system in this world are a collection of humanlike features that together create one being. In spite of, or perhaps because of, the strange and impersonal world created, throughout the film a generally positive tone is set. While the character goes through a set of confusing events, Böhmer also made sure to include the line “what a beautiful orchestra the world is, if only one is acutely aware”. This line is representative for the entire film.