film maltings: After Love

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In After Love, Mary Hussain (Joanna Scanlan), who converted to Islam when she married and is now in her early 60s, lives quietly with her husband Ahmed.

Following his unexpected death, she suddenly finds herself a widow. A day after the burial, she discovers that Ahmed had a secret life just 21 miles away from their Dover home, across the Channel in Calais. The shocking discovery compels her to go there to find out more, and as she grapples with her shattered sense of identity, her search for understanding has surprising consequences.

Director: Aleem Khan

Cast: Joanna Scanlan, Nathalie Richard, Talid Ariss

4 Stars

''A brilliant debut feature anchored by Joanna Scanlan’s stunning turn''

Charlotte O'Sullivan, Evening Standard

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view from our programmer: Eve Allin

Aleem Khan’s debut is a stunning slow zoom into the afterlife of a woman changed irrevocably by love. Joanna Scanlan’s performance is a tour de force in this understated story of betrayal. Mary Hussain (Scanlan) grapples with the loss of her husband in both his physical form and his love for her. What happens after marriage, after the vows, when it is uncovered that the past forty years have been wrapped up in lies? Scanlan’s portrayal of Mary depicts an incredibly moving portrait of defiance in the face of grief. This is a film that will bed into your heart and steal your breath away. It is a superb insight into the trials of how life continues on after tragedy and all the strange coping mechanisms we discover as it does. Come for Joanna Scanlan's performance and stay for a singular story of love and loss.