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The Message in the Bottle

A symbolic psychological thriller about alcoholism.


Written & Directed by Kea M. Modiga, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ follows our protagonist David, an alcoholic in denial, who is forced to face his addiction after a relationship break-up. Following a frantic binge session at home, David (Taki Muthige) wakes to mysterious occurrences in his mirror – a frighteningly flickering reflection. Psychological torture continues when he is visited by The Ghost (Sive Twala) – an aggressive being that robs David of life.

This 25-minute psychological thriller takes place entirely in David’s apartment. One-location-films can be an obstacle to maintain viewer engagement, but masterfully executed with this short. Taki Muthige (David) achieves the essential vulnerability in his performance. Our empathy is initially limited in the opening scene – a heated phone argument with girlfriend Figi (Thabi Masilo) – but once we witness his fears, suffering and pain, we are rooting for his success.

The narrative catalyst, The Ghost, compels David to face his addiction and we applaud this strong use of symbolism. Kea M. Modiga delivers an admirable debut short and the cinematography oozes quality, but sadly the audio is (at times) weak. Nonetheless, ‘The Message in the Bottle’ is a finely crafted short film that will surely relate to those with an addiction.

The Message in the Bottle Short Film by Kea M. Modiga e1636990339534


Runtime: 25 min

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