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The Darkest Light

Farm life in the Yorkshire Dales isn't easy at the best of times, but things are exceptionally tough for Tom (Dillane) and Sue (Fox). Their eight-year-old son (Walton) has leukaemia, and the doctors aren't making headway. Meanwhile, Catherine (Arnold), ten, feels lonely and neglected; befriending Uma (Sungha), the first Hindu at the village school, she takes her to the Moors. Something strange happens, which Catherine interprets as a vision of the Virgin Mary, and a sign her brother will be all right. Uma, though, is terrified by the implications of what they've seen. Co-directed from Beaufoy's screenplay, this is the latest installment in the writer's project to carve out a distinctive Yorkshire cinema. The directors pick up on the exoticism of a terrain incorporating both ancient limestone pavements and wind farms, but these flourishes sit uncomfortably with a subdued aesthetic that wouldn't look out of place in the British TV soap Emmerdale. A good actor, Dillane is nevertheless an unlikely Dalesman. On the plus side, young Arnold works wonders, and you can hardly fail to be moved by the end.

Release details

Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Simon Beaufoy, Bille Eltringham
Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Stephen Dillane
Kerry Fox
Keri Arnold
Kavita Sungha
Jason Walton
Nisha K Nayer
Nicholas Hope
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