Review: Ashley Hiatt’s “The Rabbit and the Bear”

Rabbit (Vera Adler Bojsten), Bear (Peter Perez-Romano), and Tara (Danielle Kogan) frolic in the woods in Ashley Hiatt’s short film, “The Rabbit and the Bear.” / Ashley Hiatt

The ignorance of adolescents is one of beauty and confusion. We as children are often unaware of the complexities of relationships; love is supposed to be pure and holy, is it not? As we grow, we learn how wrong these assumptions are. While love can be amazing, it can also be fraught with distress and abuse, but as children we don’t understand this. Ashley Hiatt explores this through her short film The Rabbit and the Bear.

Hiatt’s film follows an episode in the life of Tara (Danielle Kogan), who is abruptly exposed to the horrors of domestic violence after her father angrily strikes her mother. Running from her home, Tara is suddenly struck by a light pole and swept away to a barren forest. There she finds her anthropomorphic stuffed friends The Rabbit and the Bear. Confronting Bear for harming Rabbit, Bear apologizes to Rabbit and then they all joyfully skip into the abyss as Tara awakens to her parents, comforting her from her accident.

Children unite us in times of distress but never are the solution to the larger issues at hand. Hiatt’s story explores this perfectly, only showing the exacerbated expressions of the parents rather than the typical happy ending you may see in a typical film.  While is it short, this film leaves a lasting impression, presenting a reality that is all too real for some, capturing it perfectly through the lens of a child.

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