The live action shorts fare better. Three deal with matters of the heart. There’s The God of Love, a mildly amusing black-and-white film about a young jazz singer who becomes Cupid; The Crush, a more sinister and riveting tale about the lengths a lovelorn boy will go to impress his teacher; and Wish 143, a story about a teenage cancer patient whose request to a Make a Wish-esque foundation is to have sex.
At the other end of the spectrum is Na Wewe, a short standoff involving African terrorists and the division of Hutus and Tutsis, and The Confession, a dark if slightly unbelievable story about the very bad things that happen when a do-gooder and his more mischievous friend try to cook up sins for the kid’s first confession. All five are testaments to the power of storytelling in short form, and deserve their slots for Oscar contention.