Director Jake Dypka and poet Hollie McNish collaborate to create this powerful analysis of gender constructs. Starting from birth to old age, they analyse how society interprets and casts shame on various emotions, actions, and preferences according to gender. It starts conceptually: a pink flower and a blue tinged gun to emphasize the contradiction of femininity and masculinity. Then, the images evolve and age into a baby, a child, a teen, and so on, depicting how gender affects and shapes us. Boys can have robots, girls can have hugs and daisy chains. For the majority of the film, the left side is to represent femininity, and the right, masculinity.
As the short continues, the lines between pink and blue are blurred. Though McNish’s poem still points out how unjustly males and females are judged for contradicting their respective gender, Dypka shows how, more often than not, reality subverts these boxes, and suggests the emotional pain suffered by individuals through the straightforward stares of his subjects.
The piece hits a startling crescendo, peaking with the line “cunnilingus is censored more than rape scenes or blow jobs,” presented in both panels by McNish herself, implicating just one of the many ways these gendered impositions can have negative and lasting effects on all aspects of our lives.
While Pink or Blue appears as a split screen, it was originally created to be viewed using 3D technology. During the viewing process at the Saatchi Showcase in Cannes, viewers could switch between the left and right versions of the film by using two different sets of glasses. Though unable to have the same experience, it’s easy to imagine the wide variety of viewing experiences this effect could create. While it is suited perfectly for this poetic narrative, it will be interesting to see how this technology will open the door for a variable visual experience previously unexplored by the film industry.
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