Film Review - “Folded Whispers”
(director - Mark Anthony Thomas)
In a nutshell, "Folded Whispers" is Mark Anthony Thomas' performance of 17 new original poems on issues of identity, urbanism, love, loss, race and the pandemic. Α short documentary film with explanatory interventions by its creator, providing invaluable insights both on the origins as well as on the evolution of his work. But what happens when we crack open this poetic nut, if you allow me the expression? Well, the short answer; a spontaneous overflow of potent feelings suddenly overwhelms us.
The vividness of the imagery evoked by writer/director Thomas’ work, in addition to its emotional impact, creates an inescapable aesthetic context of thoughtfulness and sympathy for all of us. His inspiring reading along with his sincere and plethoric kinesiology mesmerizes his audience leading them to a journey of self-realization and catharsis. To a place of recollection for some and reinvention for others. As Kundera puts it, “poetry’s tendency is not to dazzle us with an amazing idea, but to make a moment of being unforgettable and equal to an unbearable nostalgia.”
And that is exactly the effect of Thomas’ work.
Avoiding formal conventions overall, he nevertheless masterfully adopts stylistic elements such as rhyme and meter in a seemingly random structural recurrence thus creating a unique poetic form, a pattern of a changing form if you may, conveying the profusion of meanings lying within each poem, by expanding and magnifying their impact.
A poignant reminder of a poet’s personal life, of a life that becomes our own, a powerful and beautiful storytelling, touching and engaging, contemplating and transformational, a hymn to the human condition in general with “strange fellows” that “wake up in each other’s arms, kept warm by desert moonlights… wandered through the shattered memories in search of the backstory”.
“Folded Whispers” is an oasis in our existential desert.