Emma Leah Golding, Ahmed Sher Zaman
Dermot Daly, Ivan Mack
Excursion to the Mountains is an experimental, meditative effort co-directed by Dermot Daly and Ivan Mack that quietly weaves its energy into the bereavement journey and asks the question "How can we hold on to the memory of someone without holding ourselves back?"
Indeed, it's a poignantly presented question via the person of actress Emma Leah Golding as Eve, a young woman whom we experience in an undescribed stage of grief as she remembers Adam (Ahmed Sher Zaman) whom we envision as a spouse or a lover or as a significant person whose death, we imagine to ourselves, has come far too soon.
There isn't a lot that unfolds in Excursion to the Mountains, though what does unfold is likely to resonate with those who've ever found themselves asking the types of questions asked in this softly powerful 4-minute short film. Golding is a lovely presence here, a sort of steeliness meets vulnerability that makes you drawn to her journey with nary a word spoken.
Grief really doesn't need words, ya' know?
Danny Marwood's lensing is warm and intimate, sort of flittering about Eve's space in a way that sort of companions her and guides us through her journey. Jay Thompson's editing work here is quite precise, allowing the film to linger in just the right spaces and working nicely in partnership with Mary Tannhauser's effective, mood-setting sound mix.
Excursion to the Mountains is a film about being courageousness enough to move back into life and to create new memories without denying the pain of loss, a transitional point in the grieving journey that can't truly be described without involving all of the senses and a willing sense of surrender. These are things captured effectively by Excursion to the Mountains and this is easily a film that should find a home on the indie fest circuit and, if marketed correctly, in niche markets around loss and grief.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic