Reviewer - James Ackland
Film Genre - Drama
Label - Accent
Audio - English Dolby 5.1
Running time - 90 mins
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Region Coding: 0 Pal
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Following a kidnapping and death of a colleague in the war zone, Lee (Catherine Keener) a war photographer literally retreats into a hotel room in Italy. Incommunicado she recreates the discomfort of her ordeal. Her grief is painful to watch and her memories are clearly delivered via dialog free edits of her rearranging the furniture or ignoring the incessant phone ringing from concerned family and friends.
As Lee eases herself out of her cocoon she meets Hafsia (Hafsia Herzi) who at first she thinks she knows from a previous excursion in Libyia, but this is just a dream. Drawn to her, Lee helps Hafsia in her panic for safe passage to France and an abortion. Not an easy task for Lee who is still swimming in her own issues.
Sicily, where the film is set obviously has immigration issues, much like the rest of italy and this is exemplified well in the treatment of both Hafsia and Lees struggle to get her the help she requires.
Lees behaviour and her misunderstanding of it are helped to be probed and explained by Albert (Ben Kinsgley) who plays another War photographer. Showing her the nature of their work and the facts of life Kingley’s Albert is the psychologist to Keeners confused and lost Lee.
Catherine Keener owns this role. Relying more on her fantastic ability and less on the script
(it’s sparse!) Keener is achingly good and her performance deserves to be witnessed and praised for just the sheer depth she brings.
Director Mark Jackson plays this film very quietly, at times too quietly. But that just draws and and prolongs the mood and mind of Lee. It’s not a lovely or exciting story, its one for the feelers. Those who want to linger in feelings to get a better understanding of events and how they effect us. This is almost documentary. It probably IS a true story, One imagines happening all to often in times or war and migration politics.
Picture looks great in DVD, as it would on Bluray (also available).
Sounds awesome too. Some great haunting music from Dave Eggar and Chuck Palmer too.