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Film Review: Girl with a Thermal Gun
by Kathryn Loggins

With a timely subject matter, Girl with a Thermal Gun is something that defies the conventions of a typical short film. It is a modern love story/musical/performance piece set in our current world - the world of the pandemic. Chinese writer and director Ronfei Guo won the award for Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and it’s clear that her whimsical style won over the jury and was like a breath of fresh air. The story takes place in a supermarket and follows a male protagonist who is tasked with picking up groceries for home-bound residents during lockdown. He enters the store masked and socially distant, but before he can head to the grocery isles, he needs to have his temperature checked by the titular Girl with the thermal gun. The two share a brief moment of eye contact behind their masks and what unfolds thereafter is a danced and sung tale of their would-be love spanning an entire lifetime, all played within the confines of a supermarket. The other shoppers and employees play their part in making this dream of a future come to life through a cheeky song and fanciful choreography. The colors are bright and cheerful and the props in the store are cleverly used - at one point loofas become flowers and the girl, now pregnant, is raced to the “hospital” in a shopping cart. Overall, it’s a beautiful and creative little tale of how a chance encounter can lead to true love even in the most difficult of times.