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Somewhere Between Simplicity And A Samsung

Updated: May 22, 2022

Why Millie Bobby Brown's directorial debut was just what poetry (and the world) needed in 2022.

On March 22nd of this year, just as the world began re-emerging from the cesspool of socio-political unrest and an ailing global pandemic (remember that?), Stranger Things and Enola Holmes star Millie Bobby Brown graced us with an unanticipated poetry film equivalent to a warm, universal hug that was well overdue.

Millie Bobby Brown in her poetry film. COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

Samsung uploaded the 2:33-minute short film to their official YouTube channel for their 6 million subscribers to bare witness to, not only because this just so happens to be the breakneck enterprising world we live in, but as the video's description states, "Millie welcomes us into her world through the lens of her passion for poetry, dance and aerial silk performance - none of which has been seen before."

Brown, 18, directed and performed in her first film in collaboration with Samsung and the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Nightography function, which Samsung endorses to be 'The Best Samsung Night Mode Camera'. But of course, we are not hear to talk about another new smartphone- more so, what exactly that phone has captured thanks to the artistic mind of Brown, and what she has accomplished in 2:33 minutes that is so momentous.

According to multiple online sources, Brown also wrote the original poem she recites in her film. Samsung states "Millie's boundless passion for uplifting others... will inspire and empower other young women to bring their own unique stories to life", and after watching the film, I can agree this statement rings true. However, I also believe Brown has managed to take one step further by transcending beyond gender politics and the perils- and triumphs- of confronting one's self-identity.

Millie Bobby Brown and Honey, who plays “Young Millie”. COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

To commence my praises of the film, the visual presentation is just as comforting and saccharine as the soothing words Brown speaks. Accompanying the visual pleasantries is the intimate connection Brown develops between the audience and herself as the speaker. Brown assumes the role of a big sister, not only to her child self (played by an actress known as Honey) but to the girls and children within us all, irrespective of our age, ethnicity, gender or walk of life.

By reaching out to the child in the film, Brown reaches out to the audience in an almost telepathic way of acknowledging just how overwhelming and strenuous it is for us to acclimatise to this world at times. In terms of the poetry itself, Brown has produced high quality content. What feels so foreign today due to the rise of gallant, self-empowering poetry or (at times) vapid celebrity insta-poetry, the British actress does well to shy away from buzzwords and modern-anachronistic cliches by offering some surprisingly applicable advice when it comes to battling self-doubt and embracing unbridled feminine growth.

While there is most certainly a place for empowering and self-affirming feminist poetry with sentiments around self-worth and fighting prejudices, Brown does something a little different with her film; she offers us wisdom beyond her years by assuring the child that all she is destined to face in her future will prove fruitful, and ultimately, she and all will be OK. And with that, we too as fellow fems and viewers will come to find our place in a world that often feels like the antithesis of the tender world Brown has manifested.

Not only are these wise sentiments to advocate to individuals as impressionable and diffident as children, but the reason why this poem has touched so many viewers, including myself, is likely due to the fact that these are the very affirmations we have been kind of aching to hear for years; everyone's child self needed a Millie Bobby Brown guiding them through the circus and social warfare that is life, even if it is just mere acknowledgement of one's turmoil or valiance.

Beyond the words and visuals of the film is its dynamic imagery and symbolism, which is where a great deal of its strength is derived from. Brown excels in depicting the transformation from child to woman as innocent and mellifluous without being emphatic or worse, downplaying the many trepidations and grievances young girls and women often face. Though this is a somewhat large-scale production backed by a capitalistic tech-giant, she deals with the subject matter with maturity and authenticity.

Millie Bobby Brown and Honey. COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

Quite possibly my favourite aspect of Brown's passion project is her choice to encompass a significant motif throughout the film: the red silk ribbons on which she aerial dances, which I personally interpreted to double as a literal womb. There is a notable moment where the child is crouched down and huddled away from the ribbons, conveying that she is doubting herself and thus has estranged herself from the womb representing her femininity and impending womanhood, as she is confused and/or in fear of what it will bring her.

Then Brown emerges from the (literal) darkness, ensuring her that in despair and isolation, there is hope, growth, self-acceptance and ultimately, liberation. She embraces the womb, which is now her own, by dancing with the ribbons, and reclaims her womanhood despite the challenges that she has, and will continue to, encounter throughout her life. Big sister Millie just gets it, as the child will. As we will. As we have.

Brown continues to evolve the more she becomes acquainted with her femininity and unapologetic power; this whirlwind journey through internal and external hardships have brought her to this point of victory even if she does not know how she got there, and reclaims a self-confidence that could have very easily slipped from her grasp, as it almost very easily slipped from all of ours within the last couple of years.

We are psychologically, morally and philosophically inclined to chase this victory within ourselves- even find a Garden of Eden within hell- but we are not alone in our vigorous dance through life. Brown metaphorically winks at us with her calming words to assure that if we are not victors today, we will be tomorrow. You might ask yourself how, or lament why it has not happen yet, but don't be wary, you'll know more once you're grown.

Millie Bobby Brown and Honey COURTESY OF SAMSUNG

Shout-out to Adam Gary for his thread post which inspired this blog post, the amazing blogging team for all their support, and a special thank you to Ken LeMarchand for all his time and guidance in preparing me for my first Cove blog post.

You can read Adam's post here

Watch Millie's poetry film here

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