Written by Jeppe Rønde, Torben Bech, and Peter Asmussen
Directed by Jeppe Rønde
A feeling of gloom pervades every frame of Bridgend, the Danish teen drama which makes its Canadian premiere at Fantasia. Even as the kids drink and dance in ecstasy (in a scene which wouldn’t be out of place in Skins, the British soap where star Hannah Murray got her break) or skinny dip in large groups, there’s an undeniable sense of melancholy in their maniacal celebrations. Given the sadness evident in otherwise ebullient scenes, the ominous shots of the countryside shrouded in darkness or mournful messages on a computer screen make life in the film’s titular Welsh town seem unbearably grim.
You can understand the despondency. Bridgend provides a fictional look at a real-life incident in which there were 79 recorded suicides in the town between 2007 and 2012, none of which had an easy explanation.