School of Film Associate Professor Dustin Morrow recently released a new podcast series. Set in the days leading up to the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Short of Breath is a limited-run, four-part dramatic series following the harrowing journey of a single mother and recovering addict who has just three days to secure a job and clean up her act or risk losing custody of her daughter.
Says Morrow about the series, “We conceived Short of Breath in response to challenges faced by the struggling working class in contemporary America. We were influenced in part by the Dardennes brothers’ film Two Days One Night, in which a pending deadline presents potentially devastating social and economic consequences for its protagonist. We also thought about Kelly Reichardt’s brilliant film Wendy and Lucy, in which a traveling woman on the brink of homelessness loses her dog after her car breaks down in a city with which she is unfamiliar. What we responded to in that film, aside from the character’s dire financial situation, was how sympathetic everyone was toward her, but how few people can actually help her. This is a version of the world we rarely see in narrative media — one in which people are basically good and decent and want to help, but are forced to grapple with the limits of how much they can assist someone else when they probably need a little help themselves. We believe that Short of Breath is a prescient series - an urgent series.”
Short of Breath was directed by Prof. Morrow, produced by Portland State Film alumnus Christina Dodge, and written by Leah Welch from a story by Morrow and Welch. It was recorded in Portland and Los Angeles, and is available to stream or download for free from all major podcast platforms, including Radio Public, Apple Podcasts, Libsyn, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Podchaser and Youtube.