The Chop excels in its use of cinematography.

Lewis Rose’s "The Chop" perfectly displays what it is like to struggle with being true to oneself versus being someone others want you to be.

The narrative short film follows Yossi (Amir Boutrous), a charming Kosher butcher who, according to his boss, gives out too many free fish balls to regular customers. When his boss fires him, he seeks out a job at other Kosher meat shops. The feat proves to be difficult, so when he sees an advertisement for a Halal butcher, he hides his Star of David necklace beneath a dishdasha, or an ankle-length Arab garment, and alters his name to Yusuf.

The most striking aspect of "The Chop" is its cinematography. In comparison to the other short films in the “Snack on This” block at the Athens International Film + Video Festival, "The Chop" had steady control over the camera and did not have any shaky frames in the 17-minute narrative. The close-ups of the meat and the sharpness and quality of the picture is pleasing to the eye. The film had a very polished and put together look about it.

The underlying theme of the movie is the battle with one’s identity. Yossi fights with his boss because he wants to give his customers what they want. When he goes to the Halal butcher, he is able to be the amazing, charismatic butcher he is, but he has to hide his religious affiliation in order to perform the job he loves.

In one scene, Yossi looks in the mirror as he hides his necklace beneath his shirt. Every emotion he feels at that present time is shown on Boutrous’ face. He noticeably feels guilty for hiding who he is. By the end of the film, Yossi has created his own path and can finally be who he wants to be.

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Despite the seriousness of the overarching theme, the film is very funny. When his fellow employees figure out that he is not Muslim, they poke fun at him and create fake customs to make him perform stupid things. Yossi does not want to offend anyone and is willing to do anything to keep the job.

The storyline of this short film is very relatable. While many people have probably not disguised themselves as a Halal butcher, most people have hidden or lied about an aspect of their lives to earn the respect of other people. Who isn’t guilty of embellishing their resume to get a job or lying about their age for personal gain? "The Chop" reflects on the lengths one will go to in order to get what they want. Watching the film encourages people to reflect on their personal identities.

Rating: 4/5


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