There are few more pleasurable treats for the ears than listening to the Welsh language (Cymraeg). With a resurgence in nationalism and talk of devolution, this decade has seen a revival in regional/national traditions and culture. This was epitomised by the celebrations around the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’ birth last year and the release of Kevin Allen’s cinematic interpretation of Under Milk Wood. Gareth Bryn created the impressive TV mini-series Hinterland and his first feature, The Passing (Yr Ymadawiad), is a mesmerising feature début.
When Sara (Annes Elwy) and Iwan (Dyfan Dwyfor) crash in the remote Welsh mountains they are rescued by the mysterious Stanley (Mark Lewis Jones). He lives alone in the middle of nowhere in a ramshackle farm which seems to be lost in time. The lovers are initially thankful, but as time goes by Iwan begins to resent the attention Sara is paying the older man. However, there is more to these three castaways than meets the eye.
There are so many bland low budget British dramas being produced but thankfully The Passing bucks that trend. Bryn is an incredibly talented director and he manages to imbue each frame with a rich lustre. It’s incredibly mature film making which is encapsulated by tight direction and some great acting from the relatively unknown cast. The Passing is a brooding psychological thriller set in the dark heart of rural Wales.
The Passing (Yr Ymadawiad) is out in select cinemas today.