A rather beautiful look at honing a craft and being lifted by the support of your family, Aurinko in Adagio is a joy. Elisee Junior St Preux has a wonderful touch as a filmmaker, with his film hitting you close to the heart with its effectiveness.
Director: Elisee Junior St Preux
Cast: Taj Johnson, Dexter Tillis, Erinn Jones, Myriah Reese, Jade Arianna, Aaliyah Barnett
Isolated from society in a deserted delta community with his austere father, a child musical prodigy prepares for the audition of a lifetime while navigating a newfound skill in ancestral dreaming.
Dexter Tillis is magnificent as a father who will push his son to the limit to see him succeed. He doesn’t want Oku to be in the same situation as him down the line and will do everything in his power to ensure that Oku’s talents lift him. Fin is strict, yes, but when he sees progress or is happy, Oku is showered with praise; he has to take on the role of mother and father.
With Oku, Taj Johnson does some great work here; it is generally a silent role but one that is full of impressive emotive acting. Be it the struggles of coping with his father’s training to the utter joy of getting a piece right the day before and simply enjoying his moments with his father. You feel there is a bright future for the young actor and as we watch him prepare for his audition alone on that stage, he mesmerises us for those couple of minutes where only one word is uttered.
There is a wonderful one-sided talk between the two as Fin sews and sorts out Oku’s tie; you feel how important his son is to him, how Fin knows how good a soul Oku has and that no one can take it from him. The generational upward movement is important here. Oku is hopefully going to achieve what the previous generation couldn’t. Instead of the father being jealous of the son, he is all in on him succeeding, achieving what Oku’s mother didn’t. This small adjustment is so warming to see in Aurinko in Adagio and gives you the sense of reassurance that no matter what, Oku is in safe hands.
Fin could easily have Oku go down a road that is simpler and more akin to the one that he went down. But instead, he allows Oku’s talents to shine, honing and perfecting them. He has his reason for keeping these talents going in the family, and while he is expectant, he is as supportive as a father can be to a talented child. Aurinko in Adagio is a beautifully shot, acted and written film, utterly faultless from beginning to end.
To watch Aurinko in Adagio, please check it out below. You won’t regret it.
For more of our reviews of the festival, please check out below:
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