Passion Gap by writer/director duo Matt Portman and Jason Donald is one of those rare films that make you realize that the human condition is more than a struggle for many and that life across the world isn’t as familiar as you thought it would be. Set against the backdrop of Cape Town, South Africa, the film follows a young woman named Elani who wants nothing more than to escape the city and her past for good. The short explores violence against women, cultural claustrophobia, and the social implications of passion gaps, the film’s namesake. Focusing on a protagonist with a history of violence in her life, Portman and Donald’s filmmaking provokes a visceral experience of pain and fear. From the first scene in which we witness her father’s temper against her mother and sister, to the film’s explicit ending wherein we see her perspective as violence is directed toward her. A narrative that portrays a woman’s place beneath men, as a spectator you feel as trapped as Elani does. Beyond the stylish neon lighting and the unique South African dialect, the film also explores something called a “passion gap”; a foreign and seemingly absurd trend, a passion gap is a dental modification originating in the Cape Flats section of Cape Town, South Africa in which people deliberately remove the top front teeth for fashion and status.