2001, and foot and mouth disease is sweeping across the country. Adam, a farmer's son loses everything and takes to a life of wandering round, picking up casual work. But having received an important piece of family news, he decides it might be time to return home.
Blood Cells follows his journey, visiting old friends and relatives, spending time with casual acquaintances and procrastinating whether to actually go home. This low key film is beautifully shot, with stunning landscapes and cityscapes and close ups of misty fields. Adam's sense of loneliness is well conveyed, as he walks away from every encounter and wanders alone through fair grounds and discos. His sense of displacement and his yearning to refind his family connections are also well conveyed through haunting use of flashback.
It's a melancholy study of the effect that the foot and mouth epidemic had on one of the people who lost everything.
Blood Cells screened as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
To read my other reviews from the festival, follow the links below:
Scottish Mussel - romantic comedy centred on the fight to conserve the freshwater pearl mussel
Liza the Fox Fairy - a 'delightfully bonkers' film from Hungary
Black Mountain Poets - sisters on the run join a poetry retreat in the Welsh mountains
Desert Dancer - drama inspired by the life of Iranian dancer Afshin Ghaffarian
Under Milk Wood - a new cinematic interpretation of Dylan Thomas' classic prose poem
Brand New U - futuristic thriller / love story
Of Chickens and Camels
- a review of Chicken (a wonderful coming of age film about a teenager
with learning difficultie) and Nearby Sky (a documentary about the camel
beauty contests in the Emirates).
Infini - disaster on an off-planet mine
La Tirisia - love and life in the cacti covered mountains of Mexico
When Elephants Fight - conflict minerals in Congo
Iron Ministry - a cinematic journey through China by rail
Index Zero - dystopian SF set in a future Fortress Europe
30 Days Wild goes to the cinema - how the landscape backdrops two films set in very different countries (Sand Dollars and The Gulls)
Disclaimer - I have a press pass for the film festival and attended a free press screening of this film.
As ever, red text contains hyperlinks which take you to other webpages where you can find out more.