Time & Again

Drama, 28 min

Eleanor and Isabelle meet again, sixty years after their relationship break up…

 

…a masterful job in showcasing a love story between two elder women…

This award-winning short film left me with a warm and bittersweet aftertaste. Time & Again is a story about the resilience of love, against the odds, against the years, against the regrets, remorse, guilt. Endearing as it is though, one cannot overlook the tragic undertone of a love that was not allowed to flourish by family, society and social norms, prejudice, fear, hate, but is given another chance.

Eleanor (Siân Phillips) and Isabelle (Brigit Forsyth), two teenage sweethearts meet again in a residential care home after 60 years. Neither of them has forgotten their love, but they have now spent a lifetime apart. Will they be able to forgive each other, to look past the guilt, the blame, and the pain? In the winter of their lives, they are faced with a decision that was taken away from them all those years ago. Will they choose each other?

Rachel Dax, director and writer of this short film, does a masterful job in showcasing a love story between two elder women. Life doesn’t stop with the first wrinkles and white hairs, and neither does love. The body might see the signs of time passing, but feelings never get old, and it’s important to watch on-screen stories about older women loving, finding love, falling in love, manifesting their love and attachment verbally, emotionally, physically. Being set in only two rooms, and based on dialogue, the two actresses carry the film on their shoulders. Their performance is vital for the success of Time & Again. Their connection is palpable, their emotions are convincing as the two long lost lovers find each other in unexpected circumstances. Eleanor’s dry, even dark at times, humour is counterbalanced by Isabelle’s gentler, tenderer demeanour. The film does a good job emphasising important details in each of the two characters’ backstories so that the viewer can get a glimpse of those 60 years, the choices they made and how those choices shaped them, without the dialogue seeming in any way forced. Like the two different paths they chose in life, Eleanor and Isabelle stand in contrast to each other. Even their rooms reflect the two characters’ identities. While Eleanor’s room looks comfortable, intimate, imbued with her personality, as a woman who has accepted her sexuality and all the cruel and unfair repercussions that came after, Isabelle just moved into the care home, and her room, as her sexuality, is still unpacked.

Time & Again is a necessary short film. As I said, we need to see more stories of older people loving. Not reminiscing love stories from the past, but actively engaging in the act of loving with all that it encompasses, making brave decisions in regards to their love lives. Time & Again does that and states loud and clear, that it is never too late for love.

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