You Ask Too Much

(Listen on loudspeakers or with headphones.)

“You Ask Too Much” is a short film shot from the point of view of a near-deaf 94-year-old Sikh woman forcibly moved from her son’s care to her daughter’s. 

We see what she sees. We hear what she hears. We feel what she feels. 

The film explores her emotions and experiences — highlighting the stress, anger, love, and boredom of her condition — ultimately landing on a realization of the pain she believes she has caused her family.

  • Ajay Rakhraj
  • Ajay Rakhraj
  • Peter Widdrington
  • Justin Black
    Director of Photgraphy
    Hardy Boys S3, Run Woman Run, Circuit Breakers S1, Terminally In Love
  • Oliver Whitfield-Smith
  • Amy Rivet
    Art Director
  • Paul Lucien Col
    Sound Designer
    Coda, Beans, The Morning Show, Big Little Lies, Terminally in Love, Sharp Objects
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Experimental, POV
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 3, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    26,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ajay Rakhraj

Ajay Rakhraj is a 28-year-old Burmese-Indian filmmaker from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. "You Ask Too Much" is the culmination of his focus on subjective storytelling through the use of Point-of-View in his early short films "An Exercise in Distraction" and "Tell Me A Story." Unlike the previous films with purely passive/observational protagonists, "You Ask Too Much" is set in the POV of a character who actively participates in their world. Ajay Rakhraj continues to develop feature-length narratives and documentaries centring around an individual's subjective experience as they interact with an incomprehensible and unavoidable societal system.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"You Ask Too Much" is based on the final months of my devoutly Sikh grandmother's life as I watched the burden of care transfer from my uncle to my mother after she was forcibly moved from one home to another.

My goal in creating this film was to empathize with and imagine the range of emotions my grandmother experienced, including stress, anger, affection, and boredom, as she came to terms with the burden she placed on her family.

To achieve an immersive experience, my DoP, Sound Designer, and I deliberately chose to shoot the film in POV. We cast aside the typical POV gimmicks, such as ultra-wide angle lenses, shaky camera work, and breathing sounds, in favour of classical 3rd-person techniques, like longer lenses, static cameras, and single-shot scenes. We believe this approach allows the audience to identify with the characters on screen more naturally without being distracted by the formal choices behind the camera.

Furthermore, "You Ask Too Much" explores death by reflecting on its ever-present nature and life's fleeting moments. Through this film, I sought to contemplate my desire for a peaceful and love-filled end, surrounded by family in a place I could call home.

(The trailer is a montage of videos I shot in the final days of my grandmother's life and several in the aftermath.)