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Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Heitor Dhalia 
Starring: Vincent Cassel, Laura Neiva, Débora Bloch  
An image from Adrift

It's the 1980s in Brazil and life is good for fourteen-year-old Filipa: she is on a beautiful summer vacation with her family and finds love for the first time. Yet this time of bliss coincides with the slow deterioration of her parents' relationship. Filipa finds out her father is having a liaison with an American woman. This revelation is the first in a series of others and leads to a downward spiral for the entire family.

Adrift is the perfect title for this film, capturing both the slow and inevitable growing apart of a family which was built on a weak foundation, and the distressing feeling of not being in control and not knowing where the situation is heading. Seen through the eyes of Filipa, who tries to pull her family back together, the film exudes this unease and frustration. It is amplified by the remote setting of the 1980s, suggesting that the events that are recalled in the film have already happened and are not changeable.

The simplicity of the storyline is one of the great strengths of Adrift, amplifying the importance to Filipa of her perfect family. The events that unfold are made all the more distressing by the lack of distractions. To pull off a great film without storyline artefacts, Adrift needed great actors, and it got them; world-class Vincent Cassel makes a very convincing, nuanced Mathias whilst newcomer Laura Neiva masterfully conveys the feelings of Filipa.

Adrift will speak to everyone who's ever felt the situation slipping away from their fingers and will be a pleasure to watch for all.

Pierre Schramm

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Spring Term (35mm)