the confession” When the times comes for your confession , there is nothing to be frightened of …”

It all starts with an idea.  And if the idea is good enough, and has the potential to replicate itself into more ideas in the mind of the viewers, than the filmmaker has truly achieved his goals.

Do we always make the right choices?  

That’s what you will keep wondering when you see the 2010 British short film The Confession. Its protagonists are Sam and Jacob, two young schoolboys who are just about to make their first confessions. Even in the very first moments of the film, one can see that although the boys are best friends, their personalities are not exactly the same. While Jacob is an outgoing troublemaker, Sam is shy and worried that he can’t think of anything to confess.

At one point I wondered if that’s a legitimate thing for a young person about to make his first confession to worry about. But then a friend of mine explained to me that part of the preparation for a first confession that a little kid receives, helps him to examine his conscience.  So even if a child thinks “I haven’t murdered anyone, stolen anything…etc”  – what the Catholic Church calls “mortal sins” (the most grievous), he’s taught that we all have things we don’t do well (get along with our parents/school mates etc),  or omit to do things when we should be doing them (help our neighbors, etc).  These  minor sins committed against others are called venial sins. The Church teaches that even those things are good to confess as there’s a grace that comes from receiving the sacrament and that grace helps us to become better people.  But, then, if the Church’s teachings were followed in the film, it would remove the whole premise of this movie.

So back to the film…

Jacob suggests they do some harmless prank which will give Sam something to confess.  So they go ahead and develop a plan which results in a disastrous outcome … Saying anything more about the film will spoil the story and its twist at the end which is guaranteed to evoke a significant emotional response in you.

Scene from The confessionScene from The Confession ( 2010 )

The film features intriguing cinematography (pastel-like colors, shades and unmistakable symbolism), engaging story-driven narrative and a brilliant performance by the young Lewis Howlett in the role of Sam (Once again a newcomer to the cinema delivers such an emotional performance that I could not help but to associate with his character and feel his turmoil).  There’s a suitable music score (both when the most emotional moments are accompanied by the most suitable sounds – and especially those times when silence is used to  greatly boost their dramatic impact) All of that is combined in a tension building manner by the film’s director, Tanel Toom.

The Coming-of-Age value in the film is reflected in the the final choice which Sam has to make…

The Confession reminded me of another short film,  the 2003 Czech film Most. Just watching these two films is enough to convince anyone that there is a real value in the short form of  cinema.

Watch it
The plot twist at the end is guaranteed to evoke a significant emotional response in you.


  1. Superb!

    I went to a Catholic school as a pre/young teen, although I was at the time an observant Jew (long story!) so this appealed to me on that level. But what stands out is the quality of the performances from the young actors here. All due credit to Tanel Toom (what is it with these eastern European directors?) for facilitating this but a craftsman can only be as good as his material. The kids were well worthy of the Oscar nomination.

    I note from IMDB that Lewis Howlett has not apparently pursued an acting career. He showed such potential in this that I find that a pity. I’d love to see what he’d be capable of portraying as an adult.

  2. With the same intensity of “The Good Son” comes this short film.  The acting was quite good which is not always the case in some shorts.  The two boys played their parts very well allowing us to peer into their characters and inherent values about life’s rights and wrongs.
    I enjoyed the twist that was built into this story because just as soon as you think you have everything figured out and start to think you can predict the next scene, it surprises you.

    I enjoyed this and it was especially good quality viewed on a larger screen on my home theater system.

    Thanks for the share here and thank-you for yet another introduction to a film I’m sure I would now have found on my own.


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