Tallinn Black Nights Review: Kindred

Class has been a large part of British society for generations. Whilst the upper-classes may now be struggling to pay for their stately homes, if they haven’t already sold them off to the National Trust, they’re still living a life full of privilege and opportunity. However, the fragmenting of the landed gentry and degrading of ‘tradition’ seem to have had a rather perilous impact on their psychological health. This is the case in Joe Marcantonio’s Kindred.

Charlotte (Tamara Lawrance) is pregnant. She’s anxious, scared and uncertain. Ben (Edward Holcroft) is delighted about becoming a father but they worry it might derail their plans of moving to Australia. After he dies in a tragic accident, his overbearing mother (Fiona Shaw) insists on taking control. Whilst Charlotte grieves, Margaret and her son-in-law Thomas (Jack Lowden) slowly begin to take over her life.

Kindred’s strength lies in its setting and actors. There are some great performances, but it’s Fiona Shaw who steals every scene she’s in. Charlotte’s isolation is amplified by the rural backdrop whilst the writing affords the plot an air of authenticity. It just never really gets going and feels like we’ve seen it all before. That’s not to say that Kindred is not worth your time. It’s just doesn’t offer anything new or deliver on early promise.

Kindred screened at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

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