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The Flyer

Page history last edited by Nicola Osborne 15 years, 6 months ago
The Flyer
Andrea Harkin / United Kingdom / 2008 / 16 mins

Andrea Harkin contributes to the Make Your Mark In Film Project.

Anna (Aleksandra Kocela) is a Polish student living in Edinburgh and working all hours of the day to make her own ends meet and to save a little to send home in this subtle short from first time director Andrea Harkin.

Mixing a blend of Anna's hectic daily schedule - a believable but exhausting blend of multiple part time jobs (including one flyering for a nightclub) and studying - and her memories of a romantic summer at home Harkin builds a touching, and surprisingly involving picture of Anna's reality, her dreams and her ambitions. This is a perfect little capsule film with all the characteristics of a full feature crammed into just 16 minutes which offers plenty of ambiguity without the self-concious obtuseness that can come with the short format. There is something of the Dardenne Brothers about the film: the quiet observation, the confidence of not explaining (or translating) all the time, nor trying to add unneccasary intrigue, and the startlingly natural central performance Harkin coaxs from newcomer Aleksandra Kocela.

The Flyer is a very welcome addition to the growing mini genre of films about young Polish economic migrants in the UK. Where films such as Ode to Joy focus on the challenges of leaving Poland and the loaded sense of expectation, The Flyer brings a more up to date and cynical perspective to life in the UK which lends it a more universal resonance. Indeed Anna may be from Poland but she could just as easily be someone from a town in rural Scotland who has decided that they would prefer a more stretched existance in the city than be constricted by the more limited possibilities of their home town.

It's rare to come to a short film with a lot of expectations and recommendations but by the time The Flyer was included in the Scottish Short Film Showcase at EIFF 2008 it had already won plaudits from BAFTA Scotland with a nomination in the Best First Time Writer catagory for writer-director Andrea Harkin and the Best First Time Performance award for lead actress Aleksandra Kocela. Thankfully the film easily exceeds expectations and leaves you excited to see what both Kocela and Harkin do next.


Reviewed by Nicola Osborne.



The Flyer was shown at EIFF 2008 showing in the  Shorts  strand. More information can be found on the EIFF website.


Return to: BFFS Scotland's EIFF 2008 Coverage | BFFS Scotland | EIFF 2008 Website


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