Limbo ★★★★

Ben Sharrock’s Limbo is a patient, humane and often funny observation of the refugee experience. 

Limbo feels appropriately contemporary and relevant and yet captured a sense of nostalgia which fantastically embodies the journey of these characters. Sharrock provides a lot of space for interpretation and thought, the thoughtful timing of the shots simultaneously challenge and enrapture the audience. The films pacing and dialogue provide a lot of substance to the characters but the inventive cinematography and sound go one step further and visually capture the distance between the characters, especially Omar and Farhad, the visual storytelling of the their relationship and understanding of one another is simple but wonderfully effective. 

Not only are the characters strong and meaningful but the visuals, the airy atmosphere and the local side characters create a sense of location that within itself almost becomes a character. The use of aspect ratio was fantastic, capturing the claustrophobia of the narrative when necessary, while wonderfully contrasting with the wider shots that portray the altering thoughts and understandings of Omar. Amir El-Masry, Vikash Bhai, Ola Orebiyi and Kwabena Ansah all give patient, elegant and layered performances. The writing is incredibly clever, it’s whimsical at times, devastating at times and always powerful. 

Limbo is one of the most successful combinations of meaningful writing and inventive visuals in quite some time.

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