Light Years

Light Years

Campbell’s visual sense is already so strong you long to see where she’s heading next, The Times

Light Years is a feature-length film written and directed by Esther.

Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, it is a gorgeous, giddy trip through England’s edgelands, conjuring subtle visual storytelling to offer a startling story of loss, hope and deepest human connection.

The film features the acting debut of acclaimed singer/songwriter Beth Orton, alongside acting veteran Muhammet Uzuner (ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA) and a cast of young newcomers from the West Country. With recordings from Chris Watson and music by Eric Chenaux, the film continued to play at festivals around the world.

Like my Neighbour Totoro adapted to live action by Terence Malick, Sight & Sound

I was spellbound by such fragile, yet tenacious performances, Raising Films

Eloquent moments of aching sadness, subtle suggestion and, for the viewer, profound realisation, One Room With a View

Joining a select but honourable lineage of British works that display an acute sense of the potencies of place, weather and the edgelands (active agents in the telling rather than simple background),Light Years is at once a quietly insistent rites-of-passage piece, a subtle meditation of the implications and ripple effects of mental distress and a lyrical celebration of childhood resilience, imagination and common cause in the face of parental absence, whether locational or emotional.

With excellent use of painting, still photographs and a genuinely evocative sound-scape, it explores the handing on of experience and the fundamental unknowability at the heart of families and between generations, what might be thought of as the intimate otherness of people (sensitively caught in the ventriloquising witness of a silent night window familial encounter).

Both a heightened realist study of regional lives and (be)longing and a dream of childhood epiphanies among the extraordinary-ordinary days of the suburban /rural borderlands, ‘LightYears’ shines with an art- ist’s pleasure in associative narrative and place-making. A true-to-life tale of growing up, a fable of being lost and found, it’s a journey into the woods – and out again – that deserves to be widely seen, and striking evidence of a welcome new ensemble of talent, full of conviction in the possibilities of their art. The Whitechapel Gallery