Vanguard

Blind Sun

Joyce A. Nashawati

During a scorching Greek summer, a stranded foreigner finds himself in a bureaucratic purgatory as he tries to retrieve his residence permit, while the crushing heat threatens to send him over the edge into paranoia and madness.

During a scorching summer in Greece, tensions run high as water shortages worsen and power cuts are on the rise. The state enacts strict measures to cope with the heat wave and, in what seems to be an off-kilter, near-future dystopia, the stage is set for a disturbing story of psychological and environmental collapse.

Ashraf (Ziad Bakri of Elia Suleiman's The Time That Remains) is a foreigner with a simple job: house-sitting a French expat's seaside villa on a lonely stretch of the coast. Or at least it seems like a simple job, until a sadistic police officer takes away his residence permit, leaving him stranded in a hostile country. Ashraf's attempts to get his papers back land him in a bureaucratic purgatory, and he descends into paranoia. As the locals eye him with mistrust and he tries to find relief from the crushing heat of the Mediterranean sun, he senses a menacing presence creeping ever closer, pushing him over the edge into a destructive nightmare.

The first feature by director Joyce A. Nashawati is full of gorgeous images in telling juxtaposition: the desperately dry and sun-baked landscapes of Greece, the glistening sea that does nothing to quench the country's thirst, and the cool modernist villa that's home to Ashraf's unravelling. And everywhere there is either water or its painful absence. Blind Sun builds a pre-apocalyptic atmosphere of xenophobia, alienation, isolation, and fear. This is a startlingly bold and confident debut.

COLIN GEDDES

location_on Scotiabank 6

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location_on Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

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location_on Bell Lightbox 4

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location_on Jackman Hall

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