High School Senior's Film Shows How Domestic Violence Affects Children

Intense filmmaking from a young writer-director.

If the name Francisco Cabrera sounds familiar to you, it's because we covered the West Broward High School student's film "Plus One" back in January when he was just a junior. Since finding a ray of spotlight thanks to being featured on Ashton Kutcher's Facebook page, Cabrera has used the momentum and to stay busy, working with classmate Cristina Trabada on her film "The Lunch Table," as well as keeping up with his studies as he prepares to graduate while working on his latest project, "Revolving Child," which was just released on his YouTube channel after premiering to much acclaim in film festivals in New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Australia. 

"Revolving Child" looks at the effect that witnessing domestic violence can have on a child.

In an interview with A Plus, Cabrera discussed the inspiration behind his latest film. "'Revolving Child' was inspired by the thought that parents don't think kids listen and understand," Cabrera said. "Even if they are small, they are affected." Cabrera also drew from his own experiences, having spent 11 years growing up in Venezuela, where, he told us, he "saw violence on the TV and outside (his) window every day." 

The film marks the first time that Cabrera worked with adult actors, as well as 10-year-old Mariana Ardila, who plays the little girl. We talked a bit about the feeling of meeting with the cast for the first time. "I realized that two months before I had imagined these characters in my head," he told A Plus, "and then (they were) living people in front of me. I got goosebumps — it was magical." 

The film begins with a young girl and her mother packing and preparing to move to a new house. When the girl finds a gun, however, we see the reasons behind the move in flashback sequences, expertly executed by Director of Photography Alejandro Perez de Utrera and edited by Cabrera. 

By the time the credits roll, we are left shocked by the ambiguity of the ending. "The ambiguity was very intentional," Cabrera told us, adding that the ending was left unscripted. "It's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable." 

Cabrera's compelling work proves him to be a filmmaker with a great future and we look forward to more of his work. 

Watch "Revolving Child" here:

For more from Francisco Cabrera, please check out his YouTube channel.