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By April L. Smith.
Directors Trevor Mowchun and Daniel Eskin’s World to Come is a stark, beautifully shot study on the grief and guilt that underlies a quiet Jewish community. The film unfolds slowly as a series of images that convey the complex emotions of a family and friends as they attempt to deal with a suicide. The bleached images in World to Come suggest deep sadness, disappointment, resignation and exhaustion. The characters move through this world in a nearly insensate state, their daily habits, their work and meals done, gotten through, in a robotic, deadened rote display. Long sequences of open space and trees, ponds, flat modern buildings interspersed with altered imagery further this idea of being lost, of drowning in the familiar, which also enhances the film’s other theme of a group beginning to lose it’s connection, as its members’ beliefs change.
World to Come focuses on Doveed (Daniel Silver), a young man who returns home to confront the loss of his friend, his disconnection with his family and religion. Instead, his homecoming seems to make his estrangement more complete. This distance is everywhere and is described in the film perfectly, as “being a long way off from anything” and “watching [everything] erode…melt.”
There is no neat resolution with this film; there is only the sense of a pain that is too much and everywhere and the only choice for everyone in this environment is to essentially turn themselves off and become dispassionate observers of their own lives and disappointments.
World to Come premieres tonight, July 11th, 7 pm, at the 11th Annual ReelHeART International Film & Screenplay Festival, AGO Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto. The film has been has been nominated for best Canadian film at ReelHeART.
April L. Smith is a blogger and Editorial Assistant for Film International. For more information on this blog, or to submit a film for consideration, contact aprillynnsmith77