Let Go begins with a scene of perfect tranquillity. Young mother Anna plays with her two children Mathis and Claire, the three of them blissfully happy in nothing but each other’s company. But the idyll is soon shattered when we realise something happened to Claire, that the girl’s young life has been cruelly cut short. Mathis, however, acts as though everything is fine since as far as he is concerned Claire is still with them and nothing tragic has occurred.
From Let Go’s blissful starting point, the tone of each successive scene becomes gradually bleaker as it approaches a nadir of utter despair. Anna’s struggle to cope with Claire’s death is made all the more difficult by Mathis’ steadfast refusal to believe she is gone, his every statement about what she is saying to him driving Anna closer to the edge of her sanity. The film forces you to ponder the multiple possibilities of the situation, while the ambiguous presentation keeps you unsure which perception is to be taken as the truth, ultimately providing no simple answer and instead letting you decide for yourself what occurred.
To any parent nothing is more terrifying than the loss of a child. The very idea of trying to carry on one day to the next is an emotional black hole slowly devouring any sense of joy from life, while the real world becomes a place you can no longer properly perceive, as though your grief casts it in an impenetrable haze that distances you from its presence. For such a tragedy to be a film’s driving force requires a degree of tact and sensitivity that it can prove difficult to balance.
The fact that Let Go conveys such a depth of emotion in a limited space of time (the short is less than 15 minutes long) is a testament to Dréan’s skill as a filmmaker and marks her as a skilled chronicler of human emotion. The efficiency with which she reveals the extent of Anna’s heartache is harrowing to watch but at the same time impossible to turn away from.
LET GO / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ISABEL DREAN / STARRING: CLAUDIA FERRI, JAZ COTE DREAN, MILAN COTE DREAN / RELEASE DATE: TBC