Total Film

bored games LIMBO 12A FILM OUT 30 JULY CINEMAS

COMEDY IS TRAGEDY + A REMOTE ISLAND…

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Most films about migrants and refugees are hard-hitting, heartbreak­ing dramas, as you’d expect. But occasional­ly something different comes along. Last year it was Remi Weekes’ imaginativ­e horror movie His House, and now it’s the excellent Limbo, a poetic, deadpan comedy by Scottish writer/director Ben Sharrock.

Filmed on Uist in the Outer Hebrides, it follows a number of refugees from Syria and elsewhere as they await official word on whether they can stay in the UK. They wait and wait, with nothing to do and winter setting in; and all the while they’re eyed with suspicion by the island’s locals. “I got my eyes on you, so don’t blow up stuff or rape anyone, like”, a teen warns Omar (a charming Amir El-Masry) before giving him a lift into town.

Filmed in a boxy 4:3 ratio, in long, static takes, there’s something of Swedish auteur Roy Andersson (Songs

From The Second Floor) to the minimalist shooting style and low-key absurdism. Meanwhile, the warm characteri­sation, strong sense of place and beguiling intimacy recall Bill Forsyth (Local Hero, Gregory’s Girl). There’s pain in our protagonis­ts’ plights – Omar regularly calls his mother and father to hear how they’re faring in Istanbul, while his older brother remains in Syria to fight Assad – but the pathos jostles with constant chuckles, just as the landscapes are abrasively beautiful. A delightful film that marks Sharrock out as a real talent. Jamie Graham

 ??  ?? Omar discovers the only phone box in Scotland still working.
Omar discovers the only phone box in Scotland still working.

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