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|Asian Spectrum: Post 98 Indonesian Women’s Cinema (9)||Polemics: Maternity in Question (6)|
|Transmediascape (8)||Queer Rainbow: Generation to Generation (13)|
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Toronto International Film Festival 2009 Program Note
THE UNLOVED is a deeply personal account of a young girl struggling to survive in a hostile world. Lucy is eleven years old. Neglected by her mother and father, she finds herself placed in the care of a local children’s home. We follow Lucy’s struggle not only to cope with the system, to negotiate new dangers and to find a friend and a true home. It is Lucy’s spirit and self-belief, coupled with a strong religious faith, which offer hope and redemption against all the odds.
This film was introduced in the international film festival circuit as a masterpiece somewhere between Kenneth Loach’s and Terence Davies’ films. It is a stunning debut by former actress turned director Samantha Morton and is based on her own story. It uncovers the dark side of the social welfare system in England by following Lucy, an 11-year-old girl who was abandoned after her parents divorced.
Samantha Morton says this film falls within the perimeters of the Free Cinema Movement which states that ‘Directors should be free from all commercial forces but not from responsibility on social issues.’ She also demanded it be made as a TV film because she believed that juveniles just like Lucy should have easy access to this film. Her amazing intelligence shines both within and outside the film.
What we should focus on here is her talent in capturing the psychological uncertainty and isolation that unwanted children feel on a cold and brutal yet beautifully sophisticated screen. It would be hard for anyone to easily shake off the burden of its impressive ending that seems to go on eternally and reminds one of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. (Jay SOHN)
Toronto International Film Festival 2009
Samantha MORTONSamantha MORTON
Samantha Morton has been hailed as one of the foremost actresses of her generation. Her career to date has seen her work with some of the most respected directors in the world, including Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen. The diverse and often difficult choices of role she has made are reflected in the list of accolades including her recent Golden Globe alongside BAFTA and EMMY nominations. The Unloved is her debut film. Morton has worked consistently with independent film-makers in both the UK and US.