Sunday 9th October 2022 8:00pm
National Film & TV School, Station Road, Beaconsfield, HP9 1LG
As the crow flies, only about 30 miles separate the port towns of Dover and Calais — a distance that, in many parts of the world, wouldn’t span any greater culture shift than a slight tweak in accent. When those miles are filled with the English Channel, however, opposite coastlines represent opposite worlds, where everything from language to sexual mores are poles apart. It’s a short but jolting journey, an exercise in social and geographic disorientation that British-Pakistani filmmaker Aleem Khan probes to layered, thoughtful effect in his auspicious first feature After Love.
Galvanized by Joanna Scanlan’s quiet, searing turn as a white Muslim widow piecing together the separate lives her late husband led on both shores, Khan’s debut confidently blends old-school melodrama with a contemporary political consciousness, suggesting broader, Brexit-era cross-cultural friction while maintaining an intimate domestic focus. Selected for the Critics’ Week programme of 2020’s Cannes festival, Khan’s unassuming debut has gone on to robust arthouse success on home turf, sweeping last year’s British Independent Film Awards and scoring a couple of major BAFTA nominations. A North American distributor, however, has yet to step forward for a film that is by no means limited in its cultural resonance to the narrow band of south England and northern France it evocatively explores.
2021. 89 Mins. 12A. In English