Confronted with a troubling radio static, Robin Rose Singer and Ruya Koman’s film Interference opens with an unsettling and tense tone that lasts for every second in the film’s 14 minute duration. While an interracial couple playfully bicker on the car ride to a wedding, they come across an altercation between a black man and a white police officer. While the details of what went down are unclear, the couple find themselves in the middle of a crime scene having to choose a side, the law or a person who historically is going to be criminalized by it.
With a tremendous amount of depth, Interference strikingly portrays the complexities of the police system when it comes to the disparities in treatment between white Americans and black Americans. This depth is animated by an all around phenomenal cast who understood the weight of their roles and brought nothing but raw emotion and elaborate realism to them. Rissa Davis, who plays Police Officer Deborah Williams, gives an outstanding performance as her character goes through intense emotional turmoil while facing a life or death situation. Each character has a very different approach to how they handle the nightmare of an event. John, who is played by Michael Chenevert, tries to keep a level head and think through what decisions to make while his wife Angela (Ruya Koman) leads with her emotional instincts and wants to help the man (Stephen Hill) who is clearly confused and scared. Chenevert and Koman’s dynamic as a couple feels very natural with the right balance of dissonance and affection.
This organic dynamic is also due to the incredibly well written screenplay (Singer). The pacing and the unfolding of events build such an intense atmosphere that leaves the audience gripping the edge of their seats. The cinematography (Jamal Solomon) looks effortless. Every shot is perfectly framed and the lush green surroundings are brought to life by a realistic soundscape of birds and cicadas. The overall realism of the mise-en-scene makes the audience feel as if they are standing there with the characters, fearing for their lives with them.
One of the most interesting parts of the film is that it is shot entirely in the bright and glowy daylight. Most suspenseful stories rely on the ominous qualities that come with shooting at night. Interference maintains the same amount of suspense and terror, if not more, all within the parameter of daytime. This haunting tone is maintained without darkness because the all too relevant subject matter is just that unsettling. The simple presence of a gun paired with unbalanced power completely changes the dynamic of a tense situation, turning it into a life threatening one. This is a very gray area that America is, unfortunately, very familiar with. Interference sheds light on it in a very truthful and impactful way.