Michael Armstrong, Brad Bonnell, Marina Lee, Curtis Steeksma
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"Disappearing Summers" Looking for North American Fest Options
Written and directed by Kora Vanderlip, Disappearing Summers is a somber and melancholy journey with three siblings as they commemorate the one-year anniversary of their father's death by gathering at their family's summer lake house for a time of healing, letting go, and assembling the final shards of memories partly forgotten and partly left unresolved.
David (Brad Bonnell) is seemingly the most wounded of the three, a man attempting to find the missing words to a long ago poem that their father had often shared. Tom (Curtis Steeksma) is the brother who's seemingly a little more anxious to let go, while Madison (Marina Lee) seems to be the sibling tasked with playing both healer and peacekeeper. Vanderlip's script is quiet and peaceful in its presentation, content to allow the silences to say as much as they need to say without the unnecessary filler of meaningless words and deeds.
Having screened at festivals in Mumbai and Delhi, Disappearing Summers is currently in the process of exploring North American festival options and one can only hope that indie fest programmers will latch onto the film's quiet, reflective and decidedly low-key approach to the grieving journey that is so often played for histrionics and dramatic heights in cinema.
Kudos must go to the film's ensemble cast for achieving a believable, relaxed chemistry with one another and for tuning in to Vanderlip's more authentic approach to her subject matter. Jonathan Bryden's lensing plays observer to the spoken and unspoken interactions between these three siblings, the kinds of interactions one expects to find from siblings longing to say the right words yet deep down knowing there really are no right words.
For more information on Disappearing Summers, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits to the left of this review.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic