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Audience Review: Keys, Money, Phone


Roger Young’s short film Keys, Money, Phone is not so much about post-apartheid South Africa as about Seb, one of its entitled citizens. Seb is white, he is an asshole and he mouths off when pissed.

The film starts with Seb (Anton Taylor) having an argument with a cabbie. He refuses to pay the fare, throwing what he considers enough at the black cabbie before stepping out. Unwittingly, he forgets his keys, wallet and phone. After talking down to his apartment complex’s janitor, he is refused entry.

Without money in his pocket, keys to his flat or phone to call the cab company, getting a roof over his head comes down to Seb’s interpersonal skills. In time it becomes clear the man has none of such skills as his friends offer excuses. Seb has burnt his bridges.

A friend hands him 10 rand (about N150) to buy time at an internet cafe and get help on Facebook. He becomes angry she won’t let him pass the night at hers but accepts the money anyway. Another won’t let him into his flat because he has a girl over. He goes over to his ex-girlfriend’s place and she, perhaps expectedly, leaves him in the cold. When Seb realises she’ll not be letting him in, he shouts: “This is why I cheated on you, Brit. You’re such a bitch!”

A night of serial catastrophes, Seb’s Facebooking doesn’t yield much. Subtly message-driven, Keys, Money, Phone contemplates human frailty, examines cyber-friendships and implores the viewer to do one thing: Be Nice.

Otaigbe Itua Ewoigbokhan

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