BFI Flare Review: The Greenhouse

Beth in the strange mist

The loss of a loved one can be paralysing. The death of someone who has played a huge part in your daily life can leave a gap which can never be filled. Whilst most people find a way to move on, step by step, it’s just too painful for others. They retreat within themselves. Often too traumatised to fully interact with the real world, they can become reclusive. There’s another tempting option in The Greenhouse.

After the death her mother Ruth (Camilla Ah Kin), Beth (Jane Watt) remained at home with her other mum Lillian (Rhondda Findleton). One day she stumbles upon a greenhouse, which acts as a gateway to the past. When her brothers and sister (Joel Horwood, Shiv Palekar and Kirsty Marillier) return for a family celebration, Beth becomes increasingly withdrawn and resentful. She spends more and more time ‘alone’ with her bittersweet memories.

The Greenhouse approaches loss and grief in an entirely original way. The conceit is a clever one, Lillian becoming increasingly withdrawn from friends and family, preferring to stay surrounded by her memories. The story itself is a little unfocused and confusing, at times, but it’s put together in a way which is really intriguing. Whilst by no means perfect, Thomas Wilson-White’s feature debut shows a lot of promise.

The Greenhouse screens at BFI Flare.

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