Simplicity has an elegance that transcends time, fashion, zeitgeist or trend. Being able to say, show, express what you think in a few words, with a few strokes of a brush/pen, or in a few bars – cuts out the middle man of interpretation. Leaves you with the peeled back core message. A clenched fist in the air, an open hand on a heart, a quick wink, a finger drawn across
the throat … all telegraph unmistakable messages. No tone or intonation needed.
Samantha Stendal, a young American, film student, understands the concept. And so she and her friend Aaron Blanton kept their focus tight when shot their short Public Service Announcement, “A Needed Response”, in March last year. The pair intended it as a commentary on media coverage (which was mainly sympathetic) to the high school football players charged with gang raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. The girl was incapacitated by alcohol during the attack.
The Judges of the Peabody Awards recognised the pair’s intent: “Short, simple and spot-on in its critique of rape culture, the ingenious PSA by two University of Oregon students takes just 25 seconds to make its point that real men treat women with respect.
Nothing else needs to be said.