What if a person from your childhood or your family was watching out for you more than you expected? In Terry Dawson’s touching short film, The Mason Ring, two siblings get an unexpected life lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Sometimes our youthful impressions of a family member will last for our entire lives. If an uncle is severe or a grandmother is sweet as can be, we generally associate those feelings with them for most of our lives. What if we are wrong? Dawson’s film centers on Earl and Antoine (Terayle Hill and Zavieh Harrell) as they drop off their grandfather’s mason ring to the funeral home the night before his burial the following morning. When they arrive, they are greeted by the night watchman, Nathaniel (played by Myles Cranford).
Nathaniel lets the brothers enter the funeral home, but they have to be the one to place the ring on their grandfather’s hand. As they stand by their grandfather’s casket, they begin to have conversations about when they were younger, and Nathaniel offers sage advice: “I bet he was preparing you to stand tall in a world that was a whole lot meaner.” Immense feeling exudes from Dawson’s film aided by the jazzy score by Daniel Whitworth and the cinematography captured by Ino Yang Popper.
Dawson’s film will sneak up on you, especially because of Cranford’s performance. It is a thoughtful film about family and questioning those childhood impressions that we have of our respected elders.