Keswick Film Club - Limbo

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Sunday 21st November 5:00 PM


Director: Ben Sharrock Country: UK
Cert: 12A Year: 2020 Length: 104 mins Language: English and Arabic

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 209KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 68.75% Attendance: 78




Ben Sharrock is a Scot who has previously lived and worked with refugees in Syria and Algeria. He set out to make a film which describes the plight of refugees not in their homeland but here in Britain where they wait for the process to see if they will be accepted or not. To make them even more cut off, the film is set on a remote Scottish island (Uist: the first film ever made here), where there is nothing for them or the locals to do.

"If all of that makes 'Limbo' sound tremendously heavy, the opposite is true: this is perhaps more than anything a comedy, a picture whose dry wit recalls that of another Scottish filmmaker, Bill Forsyth, who, in the 1980s, gave us wonderfully wry comedies like Gregory's Girl and Local Hero. Sharrock has a similar lightness of touch, even though his film has some serious underpinnings: It's a reflection on what happens when individuals from disparate places get together and need to define, for themselves above all, what 'home' means and what it means to leave it" – Stephanie Zacharek, Time.

The main player is Omar, from Syria, who carries his Oud everywhere although he cannot play it as he has an injured hand. Around him we also get to know other refugees and the local islanders, some who try to help (the film begins with a 'cultural awareness course'), others who simply feel threatened; together they are all in a kind of limbo, waiting for something (anything?) to happen...


open_quote For a film that is so infused with sadness... Limbo is remarkably funny - a gentle, empathic kind of humour that is derived from the men's bleak existences, without mocking them. close_quote Wendy Ide, Observe

open_quote Look beyond your limited worldview, Limbo says, and see the bigger, more beautiful, and more complicated picture. close_quote Rebecca Harrison Sight & Sound

open_quote A wonderful comedy that savours its remote environment while keeping its subjects at the centre of the story. close_quote Donald Clarke, Irish Times



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