Saturday, April 6, 2024

Foremost By Night (2023) NDNF 2023

FOREMOST BY NIGHT is the story of mothers and children lost and found. The main focus of the film is a woman who was forced to give up her baby years ago and has spent the intervening years trying to find him. Along the way she meets a woman and her adopted son.

This is an incredibly hard film to pin down. It desperately wants to be in the form of a thriller but it doesn’t really work. The opening monolog suggests it’s really a horror film but I don’t see it. Much of the film is related in letters read over the images so we are told things instead of watching things transpire. The tone of scenes shift. Actions are often mannered. The narrative is partly fragmented. I’ve read that it is supposed to be an examination of the forced removals of children by the Franco regime, but had I not read that in an outside source I never would have known it.

I could  feel that director hammering the film using the best pieces that could be found. We can see what is being reached for, but at the same time the grasp doesn’t connect to the emotion. We can admire the craft but we can’t fully feel anything.

I really love a lot of the pieces, but I don’t love the whole.

I think it’s a miss but if the subject or expert filmmaking thrill you give the film a shot.

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