Iona

Film, Drama
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Iona

A woman returns to her religious roots in this windswept, disappointing Scottish drama

An air of mystery just about blows along this frustrating Scottish indie drama from writer-director Scott Graham, whose 2012 debut ‘Shell’ was an equally sombre but much more coherent and compelling work. The title nods to both a character and a place: a young woman, Iona (Ruth Negga), returns to the island and the small religious community she left some years earlier, this time with her teenage son Billy (Ben Gallagher) in tow, both of them fleeing a vaguely sketched tragedy.

The austere setting, the undercurrent of strict, cut-off faith, the whiff of death and the hint of a miracle all recall the 1950s Danish masterpiece ‘Ordet’, which is surely one of Graham’s main influences. But there’s something dead-behind-the-eyes and unconvincing about the whole enterprise, despite Negga’s eye-grabbing performance and the lure of the windswept Hebridean landscapes.

By: Dave Calhoun

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Release details

Release date: Friday March 25 2016
Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Scott Graham
Screenwriter: Scott Graham
Cast: Tom Brooke
Michelle Duncan
Ben Gallagher
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