Anisha meets the star and director of The Levelling

8th May, 2017

To celebrate the release of British drama The Levelling, our reporter Anisha caught up with the film's star Ellie Kendrick and director Hope Dickson Leach to find out more about the new film.

The Levelling tells the story of 25-year-old Clover, who must return to her family farm after the devastating loss of her brother. Soon, she comes to discover the difficulties her family have faced in her long absence from home - including the after-effects of a catastrophic flood.

In the interviews below, Anisha talks to the film's star and Game of Thrones cast member Ellie Kendrick about the difficulties of acting alongside livestock, and to director Hope Dickson Leach about how she developed the complex father-daughter relationship at the centre of the film.

Watch Anisha's fantastic The Levelling interviews below, and be sure to read her review of the film at the bottom of the page.

Anisha reviews The Levelling

The Levelling offers a paradoxically charming and disturbing insight into the lives of a family in Somerset. Hope Dickson Leach's feature-length debut follows the experience of trainee veterinarian Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) after returning to the family farm following the death of her brother.

As we drift alongside Clover awaiting the truth surrounding her brother's bacchanalian night, the film beautifully descends into an investigation on the effects of grief, especially within the pressure and politics of agricultural living. Throughout the film, the mourning of Harry Catto (Joe Blakemore) and the threat of losing the farm are translated by cinematographer Nanu Segal into on-screen poetry. Seemingly simple shots saturated with metaphor are executed brilliantly and inspire the kind of explicit reflection that only realism can. A few poetic motifs, the only remnants of impressionism, silently weave themselves into the storyline: those of which include cows and hares, often wading through a dark water. Any quiet in the film is often complemented by Hutch Demouilpied's contemplative and probing soundtrack.

The relationship between Clover and her almost-estranged father, Aubrey (David Troughton), is distressing yet compelling and the two work in a way that emphasises the irony of silence in The Levelling. Everybody pines to be heard. The distance between father and daughter along with the film's bleak style and the character's tragic circumstance demonstrates the importance and need for incessant love and communication. With Aubrey's volatile nature and Clover's natural concern, the film builds to a poignant scene, the fundaments of which include a herd of TB-infected cattle, grey skies, our two characters, heavy rainfall and a shotgun. Leach has somehow achieved gifting her audience with a viewing that simultaneously provokes a rasping breath and a stream of easy breathing.

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