Eye For Film >> Movies >> Welcome To A Bright White Limbo (2019) Film Review
Welcome To A Bright White Limbo
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Belfast's working-class environments provide a backdrop for this immersive short documentary from Cara Holmes, which excerpts parts of Oona Doherty's Hope Hunt and the Ascension Into Lazarus at the same time as offering a potted profile of the choreographer/dancer. High rises, council estates and dance floors lit by glitter balls are the natural environment for the characters Doherty creates here, as she embodies elements of working-class smicks (as they call them in Belfast) or NEETS (not in education, employment or training) - beginning their story by flinging herself from the boot of a car.
In between snippets of her performance, when Doherty slips seamlessly into the bravado or frustrations of a young man, the dancer offers insight into her working methods. These include the use of collage - "I don't think linear" - or the way she builds the performance, which stems from the very essence of those she wants to portray - "How do you become a fizzy drink?". You feel her respect for these youngsters too, "who are probably great dancers, DJs and poets" - and that respect is also present in the dance.
Holmes' direction is as fluid as Doherty's movement, as her cinematographer Luca Truffarelli engages his camera in its own dance with Doherty, also capturing the reactions of those watching her at work. These moments of choreography are mixed with more impressionistic interludes in Doherty's life, while strong sound design from Die Hexen adds to a sense of barely constrained energy that the dancer's movements harness. The result is a loose-limbed but passionate exploration of a person both examining and expressing their work. "The right thing to do is sometimes not beautiful," says Doherty. She finds beauty in unexpected places.Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2020