VIFF Review: A Piece of Sky

Relationships are hard. You can meet someone, be swept off your feet, have a whirlwind romance and then look forward to the rest of your lives together. No one gets married expecting it not to work, but divorce is common. Sometimes people simply grow apart. Change and develop in different directions. An event can act as a wedge. Or a medical problem can be a catalyst for something bigger. As is the case in A Piece of Sky.

Anna (Michèle Brand) lives a lonely life in a remote Swiss village. Working as a waitress and a mail carrier, days are largely the same and the locals live by the rhythms of the seasons. This all changes when a taciturn labourer, Marco (Simon Wisler), arrives and the pair fall dramatically in love. Marriage soon follows. However, when he’s subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour their relationship begins to crumble. His increasingly erratic behaviour leads to a terrible choice.

A Piece of Sky is a heartbreaking romantic drama which focuses on how easily relationships can rapidly breakdown. It’s beautifully shot, using the mountain vistas to embody a sense of isolation, which is enhanced by Anna’s best friend’s struggle to find a partner. Michael Koch affords his characters time and space, allowing events to play out at their own pace. A Piece of Sky is successful thanks to two great lead performances and the willingness to let the story gradually unravel.  

A Piece of Sky screens at Vancouver International Film Festival.

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