Tribeca 2021: Last Meal (***)

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 12, 2021)

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There is a very clever bait-and-switch in this 18-minute short. The bait is food porn…the camera lingers over glossy, hyper-stylized, TV ad-ready close-ups of mouth-watering cheeseburgers, fries, steaks, pizzas, tacos, etc. as the narrator rattles off itemized “last meal” requests by death row inmates (some more notorious than others). But faster than you can say “Where’s the beef?” you find yourself steeping in the gruesomeness of it all. Co-writer/directors Marcus McKenzie and Daniel Pricipe literally and figuratively give you food for thought regarding the ethics of capital punishment.

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