Monday, 17 October 2016

BFI London Film Festival - Heal the Living

Having admired Katell Quillévéré’s Love Like Poison, I wanted to see what the director would bring to the festival. A story about organ donating, how one tragedy can become another’s miracle. This was one of the saddest films I saw at the festival as no matter what happens, someone will always be hurt or left feeling empty.

Simon, a keen surfer is left brain dead after an car accident and his parents are left with the decision whether to have his organs donated. Claire is a middle-aged musician with heart disease and two sons who dote on her. But she hasn’t told her now ex-girlfriend of her illness.

The stories of the characters are all connected through the accident and affect not only the families of Simon and Claire but the doctors and nurses attending the surgeries. They are all given an introduction as well as thought out characteristics, showing that many people can be affected, negatively or positively from one incident.

There are some amazing stand out sequences in the film that keep the peace and tone. There are no out bursts, everything is treated with dignity and a sense of calmness that all begins with the Simon and his friends going early morning surfing. The camera goes through the water, through the waves, which look terrifying but at the same time, the sound of waves, which appears throughout, makes everything seem that things will be ok. The other scene, which I found quite difficult, was the heart surgery. Removing the heart and being placed in another body. It’s in depth and very clear, you can see every vain, every tube, every crease in the heart itself. 

A different feel from Love Like Poison but the delicate way the film progresses, you can tell this was made by the same hand.

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