Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"A well balanced piece, strongly supported by Rhett Brewer's score."

Somewhere isolated and somewhat empty, a young man is driving home. He's got a beaten up Land Rover with a Faroe Island Ferries sticker, but this could be anywhere. He's returning home from somewhere to visit his parents, with a ghost in the passenger seat.

Literally, in fact, in the form of Guy Flanagan, a mute presence who appears, smirks, disappears. He's clearly a weight on the mind of Rob, played by soon to be the Doctor chap Matt Smith. It's a year on from his brother's funeral, an event that still weighs heavily on his father's mind. Mother (Amanda Boxer) tries to make peace between the two, but it doesn't come, and then there is a confrontation. As the father, Flanagan is good, focusing on ritual, habit, avoiding his living son in his grief.

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This is directed by Eicke Bettinga, who co-writes here with his occasional collaborator Zorana Piggot. It is a well-balanced piece, strongly supported by Rhett Brewer's score. The landscape of Lower Saxony is well used, anonymised by snow, crisply shot in a way that removes locative cues. The interior shots too are convincingly homely; throughout this film shows sign of good craft.

Matt Smith's newfound celebrity has elevated what might have been a minor film in stature, but whatever the other roles of its cast it is strong and satisfying in its own right.

Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2009
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A man whose brother died the previous year tries to help his father to cope.
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Director: Eicke Bettinga

Writer: Eicke Bettinga, Zorana Piggott

Starring: Matt Smith, Guy Flanagan, Amanda Boxer

Year: 2009

Runtime: 14 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2009

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