The Endless River
Directed by Oliver Hermanus
A young waitress welcomes her husband home to the small South African town of Riviersonderend (Endless River) after his four-year jail sentence. At first it appears their plans for a new life together are finally being realized. But when the family of a foreigner living on a nearby farm is brutally murdered, the young woman and the grieving widower begin gravitating towards each other. Trapped in a cycle of violence and bloodshed, the two form an unlikely bond seeking to transcend their mutual anger, pain and loneliness.
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★★★★½ review by Aaron Healey on Letterboxd
A self-described love letter to 50s Hollywood Melodrama and the South African landscape. Subverting conventions of the former and scratching away the veneer of the latter to present an intimate experience of human connection and attempted recovery amidst the grief, rage, and hopelessness following severe trauma.
The Endless River is gorgeously executed with sublime performances from Nicolas Duvauchelle and Crystal Donna Roberts. The film has me searching for the body of works of all those involved.
★★★★½ review by Matt Johnson on Letterboxd
The lives of a trio of damaged characters from a small town intersect in the pouring rain, the enthralling pulse of a night club, ocean swells, resplendent beaches and ancient yellowwood forests. Love blooms even as a woman cries alone and beneath the street lights in the middle of the night, terrible crimes are committed and coffins are lowered into the ground. Such scenes of pain and joy flicker like flames in the hearts of each character as they struggle to find answers to crucial questions like; who and why?! Some questions do not have answers and reveal truths that cut to the bone. This film is deftly crafted and finely done. It is firing on all cylinders. All in the filmmaker’s bag of tricks – cinematography of beautiful and exotic landscapes as well as people, distant and diverse voices that need to be heard, creative camera angles that add to the mystery and suspense of the story and do not detract from it, fantastic pacing wherein scenes seamlessly blend into each other, music that makes you want to track down the singers and melt into their caravan, balanced, truthful and real portrayals of characters and themes, no pulled punches, acting that makes it seem you stumbled into the lives of these characters as you wandered around South Africa, intriguing themes and characters, organization and directing that keep your eyes glued to the screen and oblivious to all distractions be they what they may, a well-told story from beginning to end, and other support – is accomplished like fine art and without any of its pretensions. The only thing wanting here is sophistication and fame that may do as much to cheapen the film as help it. Seen at the 2016 Miami International Film Festival.
★★★★½ review by Rolmar Baldonado on Letterboxd
Very elegant, stylised film with a lavish musical score deceivingly sugarcoats heavier themes. An interracial affair amidst a land beset with their tragedies.
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