SPOILER WARNING: These notes give away some of the plot
We all inherit a world not of our making and people we have no choice over. Some of us face up to these difficulties… some of us run. Where do you go when you have nowhere else left to run? ‘I was struggling to remember the name of the woman sleeping on the floor…’ Shammi was at the end of the road when he discovered his brother had died. He knows the time had come to stop running.
Shammi (Grewal) is a wanderer, forced to return home to Southall in West London after the death of his brother Paji, His time away has left his family and friends with mixed emotions about his return. His best friend Banger is distant toward him; his nephew, Sonu and niece, Preeti, are indifferent at best. Above all Shammi is haunted by the memories of the woman he lost. The murder of his love Yasmin is what drove him away – was it a revenge killing? A question that Shammi cannot face…
His homecoming released the demons that Shammi has tried to contain. Thrown into an already volatile situation, he is forced to either face up to his history or keep on running.
Written and directed by an independent film-maker of British Asian origin, The Winter of Love (A Quiet Desperation) challenges the perception of the British Asian film. Shakila Taranum Maan’s work attempts to transcend race, her ingenuity being in the exploration of humanity through the camera lens; making visible the invisible. Shakila narrates The Winter of Love through the image. Vivacious colours and lucid imagery live in the carefully constructed frames, as an atmospheric and effectual score carry the story along. Depth and perspective on daring themes inhabits all her work and as is her style, Shakila works economically here.
A sparing dialogue reveals more in its silence and throws greater emphasis on the visual performances. The main character Shammi, who is quickly established as the outsider, rarely speaks and when he does, it’s out of necessity. This purposely sets a dynamic pace from the beginning, which does not remove from the elegiac circumstances of the protagonists’ life but rather heightens the longing for inclusion and justice for our hero.
Anita McKay, Equilibrium Internet Solution (official distributors)
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