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The Levelling

Debut writer/director Hope Dickson Leach delivers a hugely impressive first feature about a middle class farming family’s crisis, set against the backdrop of the Somerset floods.

Image from The Levelling

UK 2016
Dir Hope Dickson Leach
With Ellie Kendrick, David Troughton, Jack Holden
84min
Digital
Certificate 15
A Peccadillo Pictures release

In this first feature debut that premiered in last year's BFI London Film Festival, writer/director Hope Dickson Leach delivers a hugely impressive film about a middle class farming family's crisis, set against the backdrop of the Somerset floods. Clover (Ellie Kendrick, The Diary of Anne Frank) is finishing a veterinary course when her beloved brother dies and she is called home to her family's struggling Somerset farm. Her mother died some time ago and it's clear that Clover and her garrulous father Aubrey (David Troughton) do not get on. Debut writer/director (and LFF short film alumnus) Hope Dickson Leach gives the talented duo a complex, finely-crafted script to work with, offering a drama that works on many different levels. The story is framed against the devastating Somerset floods, with parallels drawn between the fractured family and their dying farm. Nanu Segal's expressive photography of the land, accentuated by Ben Baird's rich sound design - both elements unshowy but wholly cinematic - underpin the challenges the family face. Dickson Leach also skilfully dismantles assumptions about privilege of gentleman English farmers delivering a sophisticated feature of deep emotional heft and power.

Tricia Tuttle, Deputy Head of Festivals

The screening on Friday 12 May 20:40 will feature a Q&A with Ellie Kendrick.


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