While the short Si was a finalist for the 2020 HBO Visionaries contest, I had some skepticism about it. What about microaggressions could make a substantial film? Director Thomas Kim, in the interview above (some *spoilers* in it – I suggest you watch Si first before watching the above clip), mentions how teasing starts innocently but eventually becomes a really dark. Despite my skepticism, I connected with the movie and felt the pain and conflicts of the main character.
Ki Hong Lee (you might know him from Maze Runner Movies or the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) does a great job as Si. He has to portray someone trying to get along with his white teammates while slowly showing distress at the implications of those accommodations. I wondered if he can portray a high school student given that he is actually in his 30s, but he convinced me. I didn’t watch the clip from Thomas Kim before I saw the movie, it took me some time to figure out that “Si” is the name of the lead character. It was also beneficial that I didn’t see the clip at the end, when revelations about his family make this film much more meaningful.
If had to complain about anything, it would be the title. I initially thought of the Spanish word for yes, and as I mentioned, I initially missed that Si is the name of Ki Hong Lee’s character. Despite that, I really recommend this short and could definitely see why it was a finalist. Si is available for streaming on HBOMax.