To paraphrase William Arthur Ward, one would say the greatest teachers are the ones who inspire us… This is certainly what young writer and film director Maggie Kaszuba had in mind when she gave birth to her short INSPIRED. To honour her late basketball coach, Kathny Snyder, and the life lessons she learnt from her, Maggie used the seventh art beautifully.
Inspired by real events, the short film tells the story of a pretty self-centred girl, who learns that hell is not necessarily always others, but sometimes one’s own self… Sam is a high school basketball player, who struggles to understand the way life works and discovers how truly fragile a human life is.
Even though the acting feels a bit forced and unnatural at times, the powerful deepness of the story and its message make it all fade away eventually and only leave the audience… inspired.
The cinematography is simple yet effective, and the uplifting dramatic music gives more depth to the overarching narrative as well as to the main lesson one can draw from this film, i.e. finding oneself face to face with the very fragility of life, with loss, with grieving, is the hardest yet the best life lesson and ‘human fertiliser’ ever to exist. “No one knows why the unfair things in life happen… but you can learn from them. If you continue to work to better yourself, you will better the people around you. Don’t get stuck in the bad times, move through them. Move forward,” the coach reminds her student in one of the last scenes.
The apparent coldness of some people does not always rhyme with meanness, but rather with toughness – strength.
24 January this year marked two years since Kathy Snyder passed away, and the young film director, Maggie Kaszuba, remembers her coach through these few words: “She will forever be remembered to me as the basketball coach, driving instructor, and teacher who went above and beyond what she had to do. But she was also a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, athlete to many, many other people in this world. As I look back on Snyder’s influence on my life, I am very thankful. Snyder taught me a lot about the game of basketball, but when she realised that basketball wasn’t in my heart anymore, she stopped teaching me how to box out and she started teaching me how to be a hard working, and presentable human being.”
She later adds: “Creating INSPIRED was a wonderful experience for me to channel all the lessons Snyder has taught me and my teammates over the years. I am thankful to be able to share Snyder’s story with other people, she is extremely missed everyday.”
* Watch the short film *
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