Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Film Listing

The Survivalist

    • Director

      Stephen Fingleton

    • Principal Cast

      Mia Goth,
      Martin McCann,
      Olwen Fouéré.

  • Category


We are in a post-apocalyptic scenario; runaway population growth has outstripped resources and society has collapsed. An anonymous man (Martin McCann) is alone in the forest, tending meagre crops outside his wooden shack and nervously guarding his surroundings from attack. This daily routine is broken by the arrival of a middle-aged woman (Olwen Fouéré) and her 20-something-year-old daughter (Mia Goth); initially hostile, the man acquiesces to the woman’s silent offer of her daughter’s favours in return for food. So begins a tense, minimalist chamber piece as shifting allegiances between the three unnamed characters raise the threat of violence.

Writer-director Stephen Fingleton’s first feature is an impressively sustained exercise in tension building, with an emphasis on character over exposition. The tone is one of perpetual uncertainty; this is a new world with no moral compass, where the characters will do whatever it takes to survive.

Notes by David O'Mahony

104 minutes, UK, 2015, Colour

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