Languorous, nostalgic, sepia… the way best memories are.
In Aftersun, a father and his 11-yo daughter take a vacation to Turkey which, in an odd twist of fate, turns out to be the latter’s last with her dad. Twenty years hence, as she looks back upon that trip, she unflinchingly finds all the details lodged undisturbed in her mind – every conversation, every laughter, every despair, every move, every chase, every argument, every idiosyncrasy and viscerally, every contour of her father’s rising and falling visage.
As she sits in utter silence, shunning the world on her own birthday, she pines for the time bygone as the film reel unfurls on her TV from the cassettes preserved for all these years. After all this time, she still battles to make sense of her father’s random, isolated dance moves and her effortless acceptance of his apology, his choice of her friends and her own choice of her friends. But she also finds something familiar and safe, like the alley of a forgotten home that is still home.
Charlotte Wells‘ evocative and assured visual sketch is the recollection of a tender relationship that seethes with a silent, unhurried ache. Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio bring to life this vision with such nuance and fervour that one cannot watch it without falling into one’s own memories, one slip and one revival at a time.
Lovely review as ever.
Thank you, Ian. Have you watched it?
I haven’t, but I will seek it out. I will observe that as my son gets older, now 16, I am learning more about my own father.