So how are different people dealing with the pandemic and all the
ramifications, including lockdowns, that come with it?
- Winners: Arya (Alexandra Rodriguez) just pretends life is
going on as usual, even if she has to stay inside for a bit - but her
forced optimism makes her all the more vulnerable for bad news ...
- Ushering the Light: A Jewish couple (Drea Berg, Brandon
Shaffer), still reeling from the loss of their son, try to make it
through pandemic, including Passover, without the physical support of
their family ...
- Hold on: With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining
momentum, young African-American Farida (Tayo Amos) still sees herself
faced with systemic racism at work, and with not being able to join
any protests due to lockdown, she must find a way to channel her anger
- Clownfish: Jamie (Lindsay Sparks) suffers from both the loss
of her husband and the isolation that comes with lockdown, and to cope
with the current loneliness, she more and more becomes her deceased
- Quarantales: Left on their own and to their own devices,
people from all over the country and from various walks of life try to
overcome their demons in what turns out to be a months long
quarantine, and to finally get their relationship in order (Amber Lynn
Ashley) or learn the guitar (Zachariah West), become a standup
comedian (Gretchen Ho) or tackling their weight problems (Laramie
Williams), as times only wasted if you let it go to waste ...
In parts, After Masks is really hard to watch - and I mean that
as a compliment, as it rather accurately portrays these strange times
we're still living through, and asks many questions we've probably asking
ourselves as well, trying to make sense of our violently altered lives.
That goes of course to show the very thoughtful approach of the filmmakers
to the movie's subject matter. Now sure, since the topic was covered by a
very diverse group of filmmakers, not all stories are equally powerful,
and some are more direct, some more metaphorical than others, but in all,
it's a very powerful document of our day and age.