16 April 2024
Drift will be in UK cinemas soon, watch our interview with director Anthony Chen....

Interview – director Anthony Chen on Drift’s footprints in the sand

Drift will be in UK cinemas soon, watch our interview with director Anthony Chen....
Anthony Chen’s first English language film takes a personal look an international problem that’s never far from the headlines. The refugee crisis. But in Drift, the focus is on a solitary displaced person, their trauma, their guilt and the search to re-establish some form of identity.

Jacqueline (Cynthia Erivo) is the daughter of a wealthy government politician in Liberia. Having fled the country after her family’s brutal massacre, she struggles to survive on a Greek island, keeping body and soul together by giving foot massages to tourists, stealing food and finding shelter where she can. An isolated figure, haunted by the memories her past, she meets tour guide Allie (Alia Shawkat), who encourages her to confront her fears and tentatively look to the future.

In the interview below, Chen considers why many of his previous films have focused on outsiders. “I’ve been an outsider all my life, growing up in Singapore, travelling a lot, staying on in the UK after film school, and now I live in Hong Kong. I’ve always found friendship and community, but never that sense of belonging and putting down roots.” And he reflects on the significance of the film’s opening shot, which shows a pair of footprints in the sand being washed away by the sea. “It’s my kind of cinema – a simple shot but telling a more complex story.”

Drift is released in cinemas on Friday 29th  March |Read our review of the film.


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