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  • At time of writing there are two user comments on this film's IMDb page, and it is interesting to contrast them since one votes the film 10 out of 10, while the other gives it 1. Reading what they thought of the film, it is clear that the short had the same effect on both of these viewers – which I guess is a credit to the film that it is consistent in its delivery, and all that differs is the viewer reaction to this. I agree with both comments made, because they both talk about the impact of the film and the disorientating effect it has – although for the 1 out of 10 review, this was too much and seen as a weakness.

    For me it had the opposite effect, because I saw it as the thing that the film does very well. Set in an urban environment somewhere in the Middle East, a young Marine finds himself isolated and under attack in a dust storm. This is delivered in rapidly moving animation which does a very good job of putting the viewer into the middle of the scene with limited narrative or visual information. With this we have very good sound design, which plays with the horrific and the disorientating to draw a reaction from the viewer; for me wearing headphones and watching in a darkened room, it worked very well and there is a tangible feeling of being at risk, frightened and not sure what is going on.

    As a story, it is perhaps limited, and the writing perhaps relies a bit too much on situations which will be familiar from other "war is hell" stories, however to be fair to the short, it is not really about delivering a narrative but rather doing the opposite, and making the viewer feel that lack of context but yet presence of urgency. This it does very well thanks to the animation but also the sound work.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw Confusion Through Sand this week at the Atlanta Film Festival. It was easily the best film of the dozen I saw. The "camera"work of the film was incredible, following the main character video game-style, zooming in and around the action. But of course this was not a video game, but a terrifying look at young men and women in combat and chaos. The medium of the hand-drawn animation, rough and stylized, coming in and out of focus, was perfect for the message. The entire audience was gripped with the fear--and confusion--that the soldiers must have felt, navigating through mazes and buildings, in and out of darkness, fingers on their triggers, assessing friend and foe in impossible circumstances. The film is intense, but powerful. Go see it.
  • I have seen over 3000 movies in my life (almost all rated on Netflix). This is truly the worst. I saw it at the Mill Valley Film Festival. The film shakes violently the entire time, and the sound of machine guns is so excessively high, I thought I would die. I tried to get out of the theater as fast as I could, but before I could reach the lobby, I fell on my face! I was completely disoriented and physically sick from this "film". I don't know who wrote the first review, but it must be the filmmaker himself. Nobody else would praise this piece of junk. Many people in the theater were covering their ears, so they didn't damage their eardrums. Some walked out. Real crap.