In My Feral Heart,  Luke (Steven Brandon) loves and meticulously cares for his dying mother. Immediately following her death he is ripped away from everything he knows and is placed into a care home. Luke is a capable and responsible young man who also happens to have Down’s syndrome. Little by little he restores structure and routine to his life with the help of carer Eve (Shana Swash), hunt saboteur Pete (Will Rastall) and the discovery of an injured girl introduces an opportunity to again care for someone.

This is a sensitive film which asks a lot of questions without slipping into condescension or sentimentality (with the exception of the relentlessly intrusive score). The palette is muted and soft which adds beauty and atmosphere to the surrounding countryside although there are bursts of jerky hand held camerawork which feel incongruous.

Steven Brandon is charismatic, funny and can convey the injustice of a situation with one look. The chemistry between him and Pete adds a lightness of touch to the narrative and the lack of exposition in regards to the death of Pete’s brother or the backstory of the little girl, adds interesting layers to what is quite a simple story.

My Feral Heart is a tender and ultimately optimistic film. It is an important film with lots to say; a film that would have benefitted from one less plot strand and a longer running time.

Caroline Grebbell

Fri 17 June, 6.10pm, Odeon 4

Sat 18 June, 6.05pm, Filmhouse 2

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