Published Sep 24, 2008This stunning, visual tour de force was one of the feasts-for-the-senses that I was most impressed by at TIFF. A touching and at times, abstractly emotional portrait of love, loss and forgiveness, it tells the tale of a family torn apart by the loss of a child.
Six months after their son Joshua disappeared without a trace in the tsunami, a European couple (Emmanuelle Béart and Rufus Sewell) find renewed hope that he may still be alive in the form of a grainy video image taken by an aid organization on the Thai/Burmese border.
Aware of the fact that their chances for success are slim, Sewell acquiesces to his wifes deep need for closure and resolution, and the pair pay some shady characters to take them across the border through the deepest jungles, where delirium, despair and terror begin to take hold of all the travellers.
Like the directors first feature (Calvaire), Vinyan looks at the terrifying discomfort of being adrift in an unfamiliar space, both physically and emotionally. From the abstract opening sequence to the mesmerizing trips into a jungle full of feral children and dying dreams, Vinyan is gorgeous throughout.
Full of disturbing moments and harrowing sequences, it is perhaps too facile to describe Vinyan as a cross between Heart of Darkness and The Lord of the Flies, but its a pretty accurate comparison. Béart and Sewell deliver amazing performances. This is a very accomplished second feature! (Sony)