Firelight, swells of the North Sea, hayfields, rain, a wedding dinner
by candlelight, mist, the morning sun, green mountains, Scottish song,
clothing fashions from a hundred years ago and the writing of Lewis
Grassic Gibbon, are brought to life. It is said that nothing but the
land endures, yet there is something about each of these characters
good and bad - that endures too. Intriguing characters include a
sensual, pretty and bright young woman who loves the landscape and
dreams of a better life, a strict and abusive farm family patriarch in
desperate need of an intervention and anger management classes, and a
young man turned bitter and cowardly by war and violence. The story is
told mostly through the eyes of the young woman, Chris, as she grows
and experiences hardships as well as bliss. It is amazing to witness
her transformations through the people she comes in contact with, the
land and the emotions she feels. Kindness, love, nature and light
endure when we let them. Anger, violence and hatred make them the
lovelier for that.
The director is obviously extremely experienced and capable at such historic United Kingdom stories. He invigorates the senses in sight and sound, and we even almost feel the emotions of the characters and smell the hay, mist and mud. I suppose this is the "memory realism" style I read about. Remarkably, and appropriately to the themes of the story, Davies does not shy away from the rawness of anger, sex, nudity and violence. He is equally adept at bringing out the beauty of the story as well as its darkness. There is exemplary acting here especially by the leads, yet with the exception of the one who played Ewan (each of his moods seemed the same to me). For those few who can differentiate between the sectors of Scotland, the film takes place in Northeast Scotland. The excitement of another "Florida premiere" was palpable (LOL!) at this 2016 Miami International Film Festival screening.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Spanning the 1910 decade, six years in the life of a girl named Chris, one of the numerous children of a tyrannical Scottish farmer. Years of high hopes and of disillusionment, of mirth and sorrow, of dreaming and toiling, of sweetness and violence, of love and hate, of peace and war. And in the end, the dignified loneliness of a new Chris, a woman who seems to have gone through several lives, now and forever as one with the land, the earth eternal...
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April 06, 2016 at 06:20 AM