This Sci-Fi Short Film Takes a Heartfelt Look at Grief and the Traumas of War

From “Rewind”.
From “Rewind”.
Screenshot: Dust

Fear is inevitable. Worry is inevitable. Grief is inescapable. Can technology help?


These are classic sci-fi questions, and they’re the subject of the short film “Rewind”, written and directed by Stephen Eigenmann. Starring Sheila Traiser as Sheila and Alec Lang as Melo, an assistant robot, this is a story about a widowed mother trying to cope with her daughter’s tour of duty in a foreign war. It’s a story about nostalgia, and fear, and finding ways to move on.

The centerpiece of the film is the sweetly awkward relationship between Sheila and her Melo, underpinned by Sheila’s constant fear over the possible loss of her daughter. It’s a sweet, sad thing, a look at how the pain of loss can shape us and how technology can play into it.

Shared on the YouTube channel Dust, which collects a lot of short films, it’s a striking little thing. Even though Melo does, um, kind of look like a Stormtrooper. Could use a redesign, that guy. In its own way, it’s a Christmas story, albeit a sad one. Give it a watch.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.