(hoopla/kanopy/Prime/tubi/VOD) A quiet drama about British Aid doctor, Shea (Andrea Riseborough, MANDY, CHRISTINE), who is currently on leave because she’s ‘seen some things no one should see’. She embarks on a trip to Luxor, Egypt and, quite quickly, runs into her former lover of twenty years ago, Sultan (Karim Saleh, TRANSPARENT, COUNTERPART), who is there on an archeological dig.
While the above may sound like a ‘late-in-life rekindled romance’, it isn’t, although the looks and stumbled phrases they exchange upon seeing each other after so many years ensure they’ll be orbiting each other for the rest of the film. The core is a human story about a woman who is not confident that she will feel broken for the rest of her life. While the undercurrent of revitalized romance is there, it’s just one facet of Shea’s present time.
Quiet tales like these, about people with lived lives, of adult reflection, are rarer and rarer nowadays, and writer/director Zeina Durra (THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE!) does an exceptional job realizing her script, letting the camera follow the actors and allow the silence to speak volumes.