The story revolves around Sophie and her father Calum, a divorcee who must care for his minor daughter while coping with loneliness and mental health.
Director Charlotte Wells has arrived fully formed as a major new voice in world cinema. Calum (Paul Mescal) has brought his pre-teen daughter, Sophie (Frankie Corio), on holiday to a family-oriented Turkish resort. A few days shy of his thirtieth birthday, Calum, who is separated from Sophie’s mother and based in London, hopes to spend some quality time with the girl before she returns to school in Glasgow.
The days seem languid and carefree; they swim, sunbathe, play pool with other tourists and poke fun at the resort’s bland evening entertainment. However, there is a sadness to Calum, an unknown side to his personality that the adult director – the film is clearly autobiographical – ponders in retrospect. With aching poignancy, the films asks if we can ever truly know our parents.
Dir: Charlotte Wells, 96 mins, UK, 2022
Aftersun plays out as a deftly orchestrated, empathetic and honest character study Empire Magazine