Flying Blind: Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Flying Blind: Review

Flying Blind is the ambitious new erotic-drama from budding director Katarzyna Klimkiewicz and producer Alison Sterling, combining post-9/11 cinema with sexual themes to create a politically charged film with a seemingly heartfelt punch.

The story follows middle-aged Bristol-born Frankie, played strongly by British actress Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, The Special Relationship) and her passionate love affair with French-Algerian student, actor Najib Oudghiri starring as Kahil. The plot line is essentially an unlikely love story, and yet what is gradually uncovered, by Frankie’s aerospace military involvement and the hints of Kahil’s “mysterious” past, is a politically fueled battle that unfolds to raise some quite poignant issues regarding prejudice in modern UK society. As Kahil gets more involved in Frankie’s life, so does the input of others, including the Security Force and her life takes a downward spiral of suspicion and accusation as she is left questioning the judgment against her true and well-portrayed craving for Kahil.

When it comes to Flying Blind, what really shines through are the actor’s roles within the narrative. In true Art House style, it’s what is not said that does most of the talking and this is where the movie’s various erotic scenes are favored. As Klimkiewicz mentions herself, she wanted to, “create dialogue without dialogue” within these passages and show a time when the two characters were really communicating without any outside influences. The sexual content certainly suggests this and in fact comes across as very tastefully done. The casting seems to be a very tactful move, with McCrory and Oudhiri rendering an intense and believable performance of their evolving relationship.

In addition to this, Keneth Cranham (Valkyrie, Layer Cake) gives a sterling performance as Frankie’s father, Victor, as he interferes her relationship with some paternal concerns. What’s great about his character is that he truly does depict to the viewer a rather typical, rather lovable father and yet his prejudice is quite blatant throughout the narrative, which seems to sharpen the idea of the accepted and masked judgment that remains strongly within UK society today.

Even though the filming was done in just four weeks on a seemingly modest budget, the movie does not come across as rushed. Although at times a little obvious, the plot contains some clever and considered dialogue in between the long moments of silence and sex and smoothly presents a life-like discourse between new lovers, especially Frankie’s curiosity over Kahil’s Arabic language. Even the setting appears planned as the dreary Bristol weather, although by chance, echoes the storm that is constantly brewing throughout the film.

Flying Blind is certainly one to watch out for as a combination of new and maintained talent. It’s a well-made British drama that, although criticised for it’s commonly covered ground, is original in its storyline and cinematic style, merging political with erotic in an Art House font.

The remaining tour dates are as follows:

Ipswich Film Theatre, Ipswich (Friday 10th May – Sunday 13th May)

Derby Quad + Q&A (Saturday 11th May)

Curzon, Soho (Tuesday 14th May )

Hebden Bridge Picturehouse, West Yorks (Wednesday 15th May & Thursday 16th May)

Plymouth Arts Centre (Friday 31st May – Thursday 6th June)

Stoke Film Theatre (20th June)

The DVD of Flying Blind will be out on 15th July.

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