The Midnight Swim
Director/ Writer Sarah Adina Smith brings family drama and psycho drama to the big screen in her film,’The Midnight Swim’.
When their mother goes missing in Spirit Lake, three half-sisters travel home to settle her affairs. The youngest sister, June (Lindsay Burge), a documentary filmmaker, captures their bittersweet homecoming. But when the sisters jokingly summon a local ghost, their relationship begins to unravel and they find themselves drawn deeper and deeper into the true mystery of the lake.
The sisters Annie (Jennifer Lafleur), Isa (Aleska Palladino) and June (Lindsay Burdge) congregate at their late mother’s lakeside estate home and try to rebuild their relationship as they decide what to do about the house. Annie wants to sell it, while Isa proposes transforming it into an artsy retreat in keeping with her Mom’s free spirit persona.
The sisters are dealing with all their emotional problems as they try to understand each other as they are drawn into the mysteries of the supernatural.
This is a difficult movie to understand. At its core, it’s about family’structure and how they slowly start to unravel around each other, but there is so much more to it. Equal parts surreal and ambiguous the movie doesn’t feel ostentatious in its presentation. But there is a truly organic feeling to this film. Characters are allowed to open themselves up on screen. And the moments of silence in this film works on a cellular level.
The film is shot from the point of view of June who is documenting the gathering of the reunion. For some it might give you a sense of intimacy with the characters, for others a sense of frustration but which ever side of the fence you’re on credit must be given to Sarah for thinking outside the box; trait Hollywood seems afraid of in today’s film market.
We especially loved the chemistry between the actress and their ability to show weakens and flaws as we encounter life. Sarah allows the actors to create their voice while staying through to her vision.
Sarah Adina Smith is definitely a filmmaker to watch, she shows her skills with bringing out some great performances in this film. I would have like to see the characters develop more but in the end the film leaves you with many questions about loss and redemption.
In addition to getting strong performances from her cast, Smith has assembled an extremely solid film on a small budget. Inventive cinematography by Shaheen Seth and the spooky sound design by composer Ellen Reid has a disquieting effect.