By Stu Greenfield (@Youvegotfilmon)
Positive Discrimination opens on a night scene. It is raining and we see a girl in a short dress standing by the side of the road as a car approaches. The audience’s mind automatically thinks ‘prostitute’ and this is exactly the mindset that the film looks to challenge. Following this chance meeting, Tanya, played by Roisin O’Donovan, begins working for a local volunteer group offering financial aid for the elderly in the community. When she meets her first client Joe, played by Liam Burke, he appears for all intents and purposes to be a stereotypical nice old man, but he hides a darker past.
The film is simplistic in the sense that it only has fourteen locations. The shots used are straight forward and the scripting is minimal. This is the beauty of Positive Discrimination. What the film does is make you think about what is going on underneath what you see on the screen. The audience is not offered everything on a plate and the film encourages you to see past the visuals. This is exactly the message that the story is portraying. That by simply judging, or accepting what is placed in front of us is not necessarily the full story.
The cinematography holds well, with good use of lighting and reaction shots. The film is well edited and has a professional feel to it. What also aids the atmosphere within this film, particularly the lead up to the main dialogue, is the classic but simple score. Utilized well to set the mood during the first part of the film, the light score then flips towards the end of the film and becomes darker to mirror the narrative.
What Positive Discrimination does well is put across its point. The film has no airs and graces, it is what you see. However if you scratch that surface you begin to see subtext and you begin to understand that there is more underneath, if you care to look.