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Film / A Sister

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A Sister (Une Soeur) is a 2018 short film (16 minutes) from Belgium directed by Delphine Girard.

A woman manning the phones at an emergency services desk gets what seems to be a wrong number. The woman on the other end of the line, who's named Alie, speaks as if she's talking to her sister Lulu. However, the operator quickly figures out that Alie actually did mean to call emergency services, as she has been kidnapped by Dory, the man driving the car. The operator has to figure out how to get from Alie information about where they are going, so she can help Alie, without revealing to Dory that Alie is on the phone with authorities.


  • Big Damn Heroes: The operator, who's smart enough to figure out what's going on, and who summons aid. And the cops that arrest Dory at the end.
  • Covert Emergency Call: Alie tells Dory that she has to call her sister, who is home looking after her daughter. Instead she dials emergency services. Alie then has to phrase what she says very carefully in order to tell the operator what she needs to know without Dory catching on. When the operator asks what color car they are in, Alie says "Get the red one" as if she is telling her sister to get an article of clothing.
  • Dedication: At the very end of the credits appears the dedication "For the two women who passed through that night." That dedication remains centered on the screen as the other credits roll up and away. Director Delphine Girard said in interviews that she was inspired by a news story from America about a kidnapped woman who surreptitiously called 911 while in the car with her kidnapper.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Alie pretends to be calling her sister, but the operator, a woman who helps Alie in a dire emergency, is her "sister" as well.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Dory calling Alie a "dirty whore" as the latter makes her phone call spells out the dynamic between them clearly.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Alie and Dory are driving down a dark country road in the middle of the night, so their faces are in shadow throughout and in fact the viewer never gets a good look at either of them. This is to emphasize Alie's fear and is in contrast to the operator in her brightly lit call center.
  • Flashback: A couple brief flashbacks reveal that Dory raped Alie in the car before driving off with her still inside.
  • Jitter Cam: The camera inside the car is continually bobbing up and down, creating a feeling of tension. (This is not true of the other camera which stays on the operator in dispatch.)
  • Minimalist Cast: Almost all the lines come from Alie, Dory, or the operator. The operator's coworker at the call center has a couple of lines and the cop at the end has a couple more.
  • No Name Given: The operator is never named and is called only "the operator" in the closing credits.
  • Rape as Drama: Alie was raped by Dory and then kidnapped; she dials emergency for help.
  • Real Time: There are no time jumps; the film depicts a continuous phone call to emergency services.