Slow shot and sumptuous, studied photography savouring grace in the mundane, while grieving with a desaturated melancholy the end of a Way. This is a long rural heart breaking, and from the school closing follows a sense in its scene and soundtrack of dissipating energy inescapable and deeply moving.
Each vehicle is allowed its full course to track out of frame in a powerful picture of quitting the landscape to leave us static in the windswept grey green. There is care in the geometry of the photography and the blurring of timescale and timelapse as the world rushes on and away past this year in a little nook of a rural past.
There is a drawing into the small things as happens in grief, obsessing and retracing with hands over familiar paths. And there is such a beauty in the shots here that linger on the hand at task, old hands greasing baking tins, carving and such. The baking scene was dance, deft, measured, fastidious and musical, the elegance of work done as it has long been done. Watch this film for the skip of a sheared lamb, for the grand stretch blur billowing over lake, here are visual riches. Further, there is expressed in these Welsh a sense of unselfconsciousness and trust, a mark both of the brilliance of the directing and something trusting in the spirit of such community. I have never felt so immersed.
Did the use of the same Aphex Twin hooks create a meaningful theme to the characters and to what end were the unexplained cuts to plain colour? Perhaps a familiarity with Chomsky and Dylan Thomas would have given this viewer something more from the presentation. Neither question however keeps this from being the most moving, most urgent and most beautiful social documentary I have seen, a slam in the Modern's chest, angry in its silence.
"It is only when I sense the end of things that I find the courage to speak. The courage, but not the words." So we were given cinema and the gift of tongues.