The Night Watch

The Night Watch

UK, 2011, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biography / History, Drama, Gay, Lesbian, Mystery / Thriller
Program: World Cinema

DIRECTOR: Richard Laxton

“War changes people. Not always for the better.” That’s the common sentiment for a group of lesbians and gay men in WWII London. Adapted from Sarah Waters’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Night Watch is an achingly beautiful cyclone of missed connections and fragmented pasts.

Directed by openly gay Richard Laxton (Frameline33 Opening Night’s An Englishman in New York), this film gorgeously moves back in time, from post-war 1947 to 1944 to 1941, revealing a web of connection among a group on society’s fringe. Duncan, spent his wartime in jail, lusting after his rakish cellmate, but he can’t seem to free himself from his time behind bars. His sister, Viv, is looking for love with a married man, while trying to forget the ways he has betrayed her. Viv’s coworker, Helen, works as a matchmaker, but her past in a love triangle with two women threatens her happiness now. And when we meet Kay, she spends her time wandering London’s war-torn streets, pulled back to her time as a heroic ambulance driver during the Blitz. Kay’s ex, Julia, is ever more present in her life, especially when Kay runs into a stranger she aided during the war.

While so many around them find relief in peace, these outsiders are stranded without purpose, at loose ends, without their pre-war innocence and without the power they enjoyed during the fighting. Desperate characters burst with quiet grace as the layers of their lives peel back to reveal the way forward.

Text Voting Code: F131

Co-presented by:

Mostly British Film Festival


Wells Fargo Bank

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