http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP_lZN5mw98

Cillian and his child Daniel live an isolated, nomadic existence in the harsh but beautiful landscape of western Ireland, where they fight the elements and scrabble together a semblance of a life.

But their bond is challenged after the father murders a woman in cold blood, sending him down a dark spiral. Soon the differences between parent and child become fissures, and then chasms, as Daniel tries to assert some independence and separation upon reaching adolescence.

The most striking element of writer-director John Robert Brown's stark, brutal family drama is its desolate yet wildly gorgeous setting, which cradles the strange, isolated family at the core of the film's mixture of dark fairy tale and Western frontier story.

Raw, stark and austere, the land shapes the psyches of the film's characters in an indelible way, captured in breathtaking, often stunning cinematography, which uses a poetic application of light, shadow and fog to visually sculpt this stripped-down, desolate corner of the world.

Paired with an equally stripped down yet evocative sound design -- mixing the sound of wind, water and minimal score and dialogue -- viewers get an intimate, raw look at the lack of contact that Cillian and his child have with any outside society. In this way, the film resembles a Western, using the emptiness of the landscape around them to evoke a world without laws, norms or conventions, where man can shape his life according to his whims and sometimes dark fancies.

Using very little dialogue, actors Barry Ward and Jordanne Jones are able to evoke a close, complex and combative dynamic through gestures, silences and looks. This family exist outside any norms, and despite the openness of the almost primal Irish land around them, their psychological world is cramped and misshapen, distorted by Cillian's disturbing dominance and control over Daniel. But when Daniel reaches adolescence -- and certain truths assert themselves -- the pair of them reach a turning point that will rupture their cloistered world irrevocably.

In many ways, "My Father, My Blood" is a mesmerizing, minimalist drama that works in mystery, mood and atmosphere to tell its story. Offering little in terms of backstory or narrative information, yet powerful in insinuation and suggestion, some may find the film's reticence and lack of easy answers frustrating. But it's this sense of mystery that transforms its characters into primal archetypes, and landscapes into living, haunting presences, with the pitiless ability to shape the souls and fates that wander through them.




You Might Also Like:

Iniquity

Iniquity

By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.

Pony

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Sylvia

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.