Intensely violating, and within seconds it’s gone. Watching director Charlotte Wells short film Laps, mirrors the crime depicted at its center, putting you in the headspace of its protagonist as she endures an assault on a crowded NYC subway, and leaves you with a similar sentiment; confusion, followed by disgust and shame. A concise but dynamic short film, clocking in under 6 minutes, the film follows a woman as she commutes from swim practice. Packed like sardines on the subway car, an unidentified man, never clearly imaged, presses up against her. His breathing on her neck slowly quickens, his shoes lightly push down against her heels, his crotch presses firmly against her. Like a cornered animal her body is frozen, even as her eyes seem to scream, “What is happening!?”. The woman at its center doesn’t know how to feel, how to make sense of what has occurred, and as a film centered on her vantage, Wells’ will not tip her hand to give you easy takeaways either. The subtlety is its greatest asset, as the goal is to impart the messy mix of thoughts and emotions that spring from such an event.

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