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Shuswap Film Society: Daughter searches past to learn more about her father in Aftersun

Cinemaphile by Joanne Sargent
The film Aftersun plays at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Salmar Classic. (Contributed)

It seems it isn’t until later in life that we gain awareness of things we never fully understood when we were young.

In Aftersun, our next Shuswap Film Society movie, a woman reflects on a childhood vacation with her father, realizing she never really knew him and the depths of his despair, and wanting as an adult to go back and help him.

We meet young separated father Calum and his 11-year-old daughter Sophie on a holiday at a run-down resort in Turkey in the late 1990s. Happy, cherished memories are formed as they swim and snorkel together, enjoy sunshine and laughter, and talk about important things in life. For Sophie the trip meant reconnecting with a father she loves and misses, but she had not perceived the ultimate purpose of the trip for her struggling dad — to leave life lessons and self-protections for his beloved daughter’s future life.

The adult Sophie plays and replays an old VHS tape from the holiday, trying to pinpoint some hidden truth. She has probably rewatched it many times searching for clues in her father that she didn’t fully comprehend at the time, what she might have missed in her father’s words and actions during the trip.

Aftersun is a slow meander through a father-daughter relationship, recalled in a haze of memory and imagining. It’s a heartbreaking portrait of a parent with depression and the perpetual pursuit of keeping that side of you from your child for the sake of making lasting memories. It’s beautifully filmed, with incredible performances, especially by newcomer Frankie Corio as young Sophie.

“It’s a stylistically daring, emotionally piercing and beautifully understated tale of love and loss,” said The Guardian

Aftersun plays at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Salmar Classic.

Read more: Nearly 5,000 layoffs at Cineplex after Ontario closes movie theatres
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