Irish Film Institute -ALI & AVA


Director: Clio Barnard

95 mins, UK, 2021, Digital. F-Rated

Ali (Adeel Akhtar), a landlord and part-time DJ, is a bundle of infectious enthusiasm and nervous energy; a live-wire friend to neighbours and tenants alike, he is privately a sad and lonely man whose relationship with his wife Runa (Ellora Torchia) has all but collapsed, though his pride prevents him from accepting the situation. Irish-born Ava (Claire Rushbrook) is a teacher and single mother to five children. In need of companionship for different reasons, they meet through their shared affection for six-year-old Sofia, the child of Ali’s Slovakian tenants, whom Ava teaches. They immediately bond through a shared love of music, though Ali favours high energy rock and dance while Ava takes comfort in Bob Dylan and Karen Dalton. However, the legacy of Ava’s past relationship and Ali’s emotional turmoil at the breakdown of his marriage begins to overshadow their newfound passion.

Notes by David O Mahony

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