Saturday 17 May 2014 - Filmhuis Den Haag The Weight of Elephants (New Zealand)
We meet up with 10 year old Adrian in semi rural New Zealand. In fact the isolation of the film is enhanced by its setting, in and around Invercargill, one of the southernmost cities in the world being at the southern tip of New Zealand.
Adrian has been abandoned by his mother and is being brought up by his grandmother. Gran is also caring for her disturbed adult son Rory, uncle to Adrian. In his lucid moments Rory bonds with Adrian over the youngster's love of sea monsters. As we meet our characters Adrian is objecting vociferously to having his head shaved by Gran in order to clear head-lice. The 10 year old foresees how this will further alienate him from his peer group in school
The cutting and camera angles in Daniel Borgman's movie enable the audience to experience the awkwardness that Adrian feels as he tries to fit in with his school peer group.
Adrian is haunted by the fact that everyone who is most precious to him abandons him. He is left to his own devices after school and creates his own fantasy world in the abandoned playground next to his Gran's house.
In a parallel storyline the TV and media is full of the search for 3 youngsters who have been abducted. While playing in his fantasy world Adrian becomes aware of his neighbours - 3 young children. He has not seen them before and they do not go to school..... has he discovered the abducted children?
After a number humiliating experiences in school Adrian gradually realises that fitting in is perhaps not the best strategy. He befriends his new neighbours particularly Nicole who is his own age. He also finds company with other 'outsiders'.
The cast inhabit their characters well with the children undoubtedly being the stars of the film - The naturalistic acting style of Nicole (Angelina Cottrell) and Adrian (Demos Murphy) in particular steal the show.
IMdB gives a score of 6.8, Rotten Tomatoes do not have any score yet as the film is quite new. I would suggest a score of 7.5 would be a fair representation of the film. I think that viewers will find this to be a rewarding experience.