Debut director Matthew Pope and producer Don Thompson are currently readying their place at this year’s Fantasia Festival to showcase their latest offering, Blood On Her Name. The two also penned the film which will screen for the Cheval Noir Competition whereupon both will be on hand to host the film’s Fantasia rollout.
That event is just over a week out as of this piece with screening dates set for July 17 and July 19. The festival just rolled out an official teaser – firstly revealed by Entertainment Weekly – for the new dramatic thriller for which festival programmer Mitch Davis has obliged folks curious to see what Pope is bringing to his first crowd.
A body lies bleeding on the ground in front of small-town garage owner Leigh Tiller (OZARK’s Bethany Anne Lind). The killing wasn’t planned, it was an accident, borne of self-defense. In a panic, she decides to conceal the crime. Soon after, she’s struggling with regrets. Not to do with her attacker’s death, but about the fact that her actions have condemned his family to a tortured life of not knowing what happened to him, consumed with trying to make sense of a sudden disappearance that can’t be explained. Leigh’s screaming conscience will lead her to make a series of decisions that put her and her son in mortal danger as she tries to keep her guilt hidden from her cop father (Will Patton) and the widow of the deceased (Elisabeth Rohm). Will she find a way that she can live with herself? Will she live at all?
A sad, soulful crime drama about choice, guilt and consequence, imbued with a creeping sense of damnation that will haunt you to your core, BLOOD ON HER NAME is a scorching feature debut for director and co-writer Matthew Pope. It’s an intimately powerful film, an engrossing neo-Noir with Southern Gothic roots that functions as slow-burn character study, centred around an extraordinary performance from Lind, who reveals herself to be one of the most remarkable actors working today. Through her character’s perspective, she and Pope deliver a compelling exploration of moral compromise steeped in a tone of defeated desperation that pulls us into its world without a single false move. This one will be staying with you long after the bruises fade.