This Magnificent Cake! (Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels, 2018)

Mercedes Morán in A Family Submerged

We Like Short Shorts

The problem with movies such as Green Book or Driving Miss Daisy is that they focus on the characters who overcome their racism when they should focus on those who are forced to tolerate their bigotry. This, luckily, is not another white saviour movie, but quite the opposite as the white men in here wreak havoc everywhere they go. This magnificent short film reminds us—because people seem to have short-term memory nowaday—that it was the imperialist white man who first invaded other continents, exploited their lands and left them in total ruin when they were of no use anymore.

This Magnificent Cake! shows in five different episodes—that includes a man who regards a snail as a filial figure and pygmy who works as an ashtray for the rich—the damages caused by colonialism and human selfishness. Whether it’s a five-year-old brat, a spoilt king or a repugnant baker who swindled his own family, every character in this short film is a ruin to those around them, and none of them feel any remorse as they hardly care for the people who’s below them.

Don’t let the fuzzy puppets and stunning imagery fool you as This Magnificent Cake! would be closer to a bleak, existentialist nightmare than a magical journey to exotic places. It is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is awfully misanthropic. Just like their previous short movie Oh... Willy, directors Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels use surreal elements and black humour to tell five stories of humanity destroyed by moral corruption and insatiable greed.