Nominated for two Canadian Screen Awards, Shandi Mitchell’s engrossing debut feature, about six Maritime fisherman lost in the North Atlantic, offers a powerful and sobering look at the resilience of human nature in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
The film picks up the morning after the crew has escaped their sinking vessel, leaving the six men in two lifeboats. As they begin rowing a course determined by their captain, singing a fisherman’s song to keep the pace, the men seem in high spirits—but, soon enough, a thick fog settles in, and along with it a heavy sense of despair. Camaraderie wears thin as the days at sea take a physical and mental toll. Among the crew, God-fearing Merv (Gary Levert) is constantly at odds with Pete (Shawn Doyle), who mocks Merv’s faith despite his own superstitions, while Merv’s own son, Dickie (Neil Matheson)—at sea for the first time—tries desperately to prove himself to his staid father. In their struggle to survive, the men come to realize that they must make peace not only with their uncertain future, but with each other.
Filmed off the coast of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Mitchell’s maiden voyage as a director captures the clash between man and the elements with gripping immediacy. An extraordinary ensemble cast carries the film from its interludes of quiet reprieve and reflection through sudden swells of action to its haunting conclusion. The Disappeared is a mature, superbly crafted film, a suspenseful film-going experience, a vivid illustration of its Atlantic Canadian locale, and a universal story of survival.
As beautiful, turbulent and unflinching as the sea. —Justin McConnell themindreels.com
Director: Shandi Mitchell
Cast: Billy Campbell, Shawn Doyle, Brian Downey
Runtime: 86 minutes
ON NR /
BC NR /
AB NR /
SK NR /
MB NR /
QC NR /
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