Mother and Maria’s world feels like sparkles down spines; Christmas is every day in their nidus of love; the two of them are like silvery-catching magpies. The pair spend their evenings on pilgrimages in south-east London, nights where fireworks crumble over them as they carefully collect their goods. Tin foil balls, chalk, paper—all things neglected, left for the foxes or bin men, they adopt for their nest. They Hoard infinite souvenirs from their nighttime walks, trolleys filled with sacks upon sacks of joy for their catalogue of love that waits for them at the door.
At school, Maria is sleepy from the night voyages. Sometimes the stench sticks to her hair. If only they could smell the glee in it too. Her tiredness makes her forgetful. Nighttime is her and her mother’s time.
Maria’s teachers and classmates make her aware for the first time of the foreignness of her and her mother’s loving regime, and she begins to question it entirely one lost afternoon. After one night of disrupting their routines that ends in an accident, Maria knows in her belly that she wouldn’t want it any other way. Christmas is coming; the tinfoil ball tree is mounted with glowing bulbs, a children’s delight; the room is glimmering with all things collected now shiny all still from the year before. Tin Drum plays. Maria goes to the corner shop, and when she returns, something happens to Mother which changes her future forever.
1994: He handed her to me. Its weight would come in waves.
Maria’s last day of school, she walks home with her best friend of ten years, Laraib. As she arrives home, at the top stairs, waiting, are two bare feet. All odd men, a stranger who has a familiar scent of trauma, a childhood pain, a Gemini of knowing stings His name is Michael, and he has come to stay. The following days are slow and strange, full of leavings and returnings. A homecoming. The two become intertwined as the present is ruptured. Michael with Maria, Maria with the past, pilgrims, but for Maria, the Hoardings have just begun. Nighttime becomes hers once more, rowing in it endlessly, finding new objects to treasure. Maria descends into madness, and it’s soon clear that she is hiding a much bigger secret, one that is both inexplicable and shocking.
Directed by Carmoon, and the film also stars Saura Lightfoot Leon, Deba Hekmat, Cathy Tyson, and Nabil Elouahabi.
Produced by Delaval Film, Erebus Pictures, and Anti-Worlds, the film involves producers Loran Dunn, Helen Simmons, and Andy Starke.
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