There aren’t too many gay-themed films out there that delve into the sci-fi arena, partly because they are often difficult to make on the sort of shoestring budget most gay movies have at their disposal. However Mike Buonaiuto’s Credence has set out to do just that, as well as to challenge stereotypical portrayals of LGBT people in general.
The half-hour film follows a gay couple and their child dealing with the imminent Armageddon. Having escaped disasters in London, they are now living in a remote cabin, awaiting a meteor that is going to destroy humanity. There is one glimmer of hope – a rescue plan to relocate a select band of people to another planet on a rocket.
The adults soon discover that there is no space for them, but their pre-teen daughter just about fits the criteria, and could go without them. One half of the couple thinks that it’s best their child lives even if they die, while the other would prefer them all to stay together as a family and face the extremely uncertain future. Eventually one of them will have to make a decision that will affect all their lives.
Well-made and extremely watchable, Credence uses the smart trick of using its sci-fi themes to frame what is really a story about family, trust and deciding what is most important in life. It does this with a gay family, but doesn’t spend ages patting itself on the back for that, instead allowing it to speak for itself that the love, commitment and dedication a gay couple raising kids is as great as that of a straight couple.
The drama doesn’t arise from the gay-ness but from the situation they are facing, and it’s handled well. There’s a genuine empathy for the circumstances and the family. By containing what is a worldwide calamity to the decisions made by a small group of people, it successfully keeps you hooked. It sends things off with a bittersweet, uplifting ending, which some may find over the top, but many others will find moving and surprisingly ambitious for a short film (the inclusion of stock NASA footage and a few special effects really help contrast the intimate family story with the grandiose events surrounding them).
Although the plot isn’t particularly original, director Mike Buonaiuto (who was behind such LGBT viral video as Homecoming and Invisible Parents) shows he has a deft touch with narrative and a great way of telling gay-themed stories where the characters’ sexuality is thematically intrinsic without it needing to be something constantly referenced in the plot.
It should act as a great calling card for him if he decides to move towards feature film.
Overall Verdict: A well-made attempt to bring a different kind of LGBT portrayal to sci-fi, pulling the viewer in with a story of difficult family drama set against an epic backdrop.
Credence is available to watch on Vimeo on Demand – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/credence
Reviewer: Tim Isaac