Aftersun ★★★★★

i was terrified of having to watch this film. after a year of hearing unanimous praise for charlotte wells' debut, i knew that i would have to less watch, and more confront, Aftersun. as someone who lost their father unexpectedly last year, it seemed predisposed to get at me where im most vulnerable. now i know there are reviews i've written on here where i might mention my father negatively in passing, but it's only recently i've been able to reconcile my own image of him and the man he really was. people never fit in the neat packages we make for them in our minds, especially our parents.

i choose to remember my dads laughter, and the one and only time i ever saw him cry when i was 4 years old. we were sitting in a car and he just put his hand on my shoulder and just wept. i was so confused and a little worried. but its a moment i will always hold onto because its concrete evidence of his humanity and his love for me despite everything. i think the best gift this film could have given me was reminding me these moments are more of worth to me as an adult than any painful memory.

Aftersun is all about this reconciliation we experience as adults vs. what we think we know as children. the dv footage (beautiful and haunting in its own right) beautifully filling in the blanks for those imagined and hazy memories of the past, contrasting the fractured nature of the present. i was in absolute awe of the attention to detail charlotte wells entrusts with the audience. so many shots that seem quaint but are telling a story worthy of a separate movie all by themselves. this is a film worthy of being in conversation with the best debuts of all time.

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