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TIFF 2021: “Quake”


© Lilja Jonsdottir

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A shattering health condition can be a good reason for a parent to lose custody of their child due to safety concerns. Even though it may not occur very often, how far can one go to retain the rights to their child and not lose it to the system?

Written and directed by Tinna Hrafnsdóttir, in “Quake”, Saga (Anita Briem) had a brief epileptic seizure In the park, and that was enough for the police to show up and for her to disappear. When her son was found by the police and the mother hospitalized, the Child Aid society gets involved, including Saga’s ex-husband, Bergur, who now demands joint custody, and shortly after, a permanent one. The woman understands the severity of the situation and tries to hide her health condition for the sake of her son, Ivar. But how long will she be able to keep it secret, especially when it causes memory loss? Unfortunately for Saga, there is no good news on the horizon.

The doctor tells Saga, after an MRI test, that nothing strange or concerning was identified. Therefore, he tells her, it may occur again or it happened due to a psychological condition. The woman at first does not realize the true power of the doctor’s advice. But soon after, as she begins to dig deep in her memory, the truth will come out from her past, which may help her solve the custody issue of her son. But will that happen or not, I will leave it up to you to find out, in this emotionally charged drama about a mother who will fight for the right to be with her child no matter what.

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