While we take it for granted, our memory is vital to every aspect of our daily lives. Our experiences and actions make us who we are, for better or worse. Even the most basic functions are hardwired into our brain. If that’s suddenly taken away then how is it possible to cope with the void that is left in their absence? Even losing a small fraction of our recollections can be traumatising. In Quake, a woman tries to desperately get her life back on track after a traumatic episode.
Saga (Anita Briem) is a recently divorced single mother and novelist in her late thirties. With pressure mounting from her publisher and increasing anxieties about her ex-husband Bergur (Sveinn Geirsson) ability to look after their son, she has a severe epileptic seizure. She awakes with total memory loss. While attempting to hide the truth, Saga begins to try and piece her life back together but dark childhood echoes begin to creep in.
Quake is an assured and intelligent piece of dramatic filmmaking. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Audur Jonsdóttir, it’s a film which builds up its story in a number of layers. Writer/Director Tinna Hrafnsdóttir’s film works so well because it chooses to slowly unravel the mystery, bit by bit. That and a wonderfully nuanced and understated performance from Briem. Quake is a powerful and emotive work which digs deep into the effects of trauma.
Quake screens at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.