mia dolan’s review published on Letterboxd:
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You press the red button, the shot shakes as you try to figure out how to zoom properly. You stare past the camera into space, realizing nothing will ever be the same again.
Once the realization hits and you understand what it means, the heaviness in your chest sets in. Leaving behind childhood, lightheartedness and becoming an adult. Responsibility is the highest commandment, the little moments don't count anymore. And yet one remembers them. Vacations by the sea, hotel resorts where there was so much to discover. Different food every night, evening entertainment, music, dancing and carelessness.
Fooling around with your parents while the world around you faded into the background. Too young to understand what life has in store for you, old enough to catch the melancholy in the looks of your loved ones. It is these images that burn themselves into your memory, that years later are still among the moments that you do not forget. That you don't want to forget, because sooner or later everything changes.
"Aftersun" is a snapshot, of hot summer days and endless long nights, of a time that will never return the same. While on this journey, you don't even realize that all that's left of this time at the end are photos and video footage that will break your heart later. All of us know it; that one vacation, that last bit of hope you were able to cling to before everything shatters before your eyes. Before the most important person in your life fades into the background as an extra, but you can't stop, don't want to accept that nothing will ever be the same.
The seriousness of life sets in; parents are no longer parents who want to do everything they can to make sure you're okay - get you your desired scoop of ice cream, play water polo with you, or take you to a mud bath. They become a memory, a face on a Polaroid picture, a once-past silhouette. And you're still you: deep down you're still a kid, only there's one difference: you're all alone.
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