LIGHT OF MY LIFE
CASEY AFFLECK | USA | 2019 | 119 MIN | R
In the desperate atmosphere of a post-pandemic, dystopian landscape following a plague that killed nearly all the world’s females, a father and daughter survive on rations in American Midwestern towns while they forage in the woods, far from the danger men present. Protecting 11-year-old Rag (ANNA PNIOWSKY) is the main concern of her loving Dad (Oscar winner CASEY AFFLECK). He shows the young girl how to live off the land, teaches her about ethics and history, memory and morality — all while honoring and empowering the young woman she is becoming and reminding her of how much her Mom (ELISABETH MOSS) adored her. But then a chance encounter threatens the precautions Dad and Rag have set up, risking the refuge this parent and child have created in a world thrown perilously, hauntingly out of balance.
LIGHT OF MY LIFE, Casey Affleck’s narrative feature filmmaking debut, based on his own script, mixes a survivalist drama, a coming-of-age story, and a powerful metaphor of parenting, letting concern for a single child serve as both eulogy and hope for a species facing its greatest challenges. Just as the father — known only as “Dad,” as Rag calls him — finds it nearly impossible to explain the world, so does the film resist explaining everything to its audience. The world is dystopian, but eerily quiet; humanity is collapsing, though cruelty remains; kindness may exist, yet trust feels unthinkable. Filmed in gorgeous woodland locations while the shadow of our real-life climate anxiety grows, LIGHT OF MY LIFE is a beautiful dramatic thriller that is also a meditation on parental love in broken times, a dissection of the precariousness of society…and a complex, compelling parable of letting go.
Cast: Anna Pniowsky, Casey Affleck, Tom Bower, Elisabeth Moss