• J.A.

'Sofa Surfer' compellingly illustrates the dark world of drug addiction and homelessness



Drug addiction is a monster that ruthlessly clings to its captives. Even when its victims free themselves from its vicious grip, it is still always lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce at the slightest opportunity. Very few films vividly and so compellingly illustrate this better than the Michele Olivieri-directed film, Sofa Surfer.


In this short-twelve minute film, we are introduced to the main character Rob, who is a recovering drug addict. Homeless and on the street on a chilly evening, he tries to find a friend to host him for the night. However, he is turned down twice and his desperation is clearly palpable.


As he sits on a bench contemplating his next move, he notices a drug dealer plying his trade a few paces away. The dealer gestures at him but Rob quickly deserts the park and walks to the city’s main streets. Tired and dejected, he agrees to be hosted by the person he had been trying to avoid all night; his friend Carl. This is because Carl represents the past that Rob is trying to run from and who is a portal back into that dark, treacherous world.


The director skillfully combines elements of music, suspense and intensive performance to draw in the viewer and solidly engage their emotions and imagination. Sofa Surfer effectively addresses the social problems of drug addiction and homelessness and how a causal relationship exists between the two. Contrary to expectation, the film’s brevity serves to intensify the impression it has on the viewer as opposed to minimizing it.


Sofa Surfer is a powerful film with a number of thematic references. It is suitable for almost every audience and without a doubt makes for a great watch. The fact that it is so concise also adds to its appeal, as there is no saturation caused by the long, winding plots and filler stories we often see in longer movies. All in all, a very well-rounded and intriguing viewing experience.