The lockdowns of 2020 have increased screen time consumption. Flipping through the channels on television, hoping to find something interesting has become a norm as television channels also deal with the demands of producing new content during the lockdown. When the news and current affairs channels have a free run, those relying on soaps and other general entertainment streams repurpose existing content to fill up time slots. So, when flipping through the channels on your television, what happens if you come across something unforeseen and precious. What if you come across a press conference with the Mr. Covid himself, the one who shut us down in the first place?
‘Chemical Industries Vs. COVID-19’ is a lockdown film by Vittorio Caratozzolo & 3 A Middle School – 1 Grade class. Vittorio imagines a situation where a group of young children sit down with Mr. COVID-19 and have a conversation about the ongoing situation. He gives the virus a psyche that is easy to relate to and entertaining to connect with. A well put together exercise, the film uses archival footage from television programs to set the mood for a slow day in front of the box, before being knocked out by the interview of the century. Though not without its rough edges, ‘Chemical Industries Vs COVID-19’ is appealing in its naivety and in the purity of its message.
Vittorio uses the opportunity of a chat with the virus to tell the world what is awry with itself. Starting with the manner in which we have disregarded personal space, invented means to dash across the earth from one corner to the other, not considering the damage we impart to the fragile ecosystems, to reckless use of resources; everything that is wrong with the world is mirrored in this conversation with the virus.