“You don’t have to put yourself through this…” One of the many new films premiering at the Toronto Film Festival this month is this one – Hearts and Bones, an Australian drama marking the narrative debut of filmmaker Ben Lawrence. This originally premiered at the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals already, now playing in Toronto to continue its festival run internationally. The indie drama stars Aussie actor Hugo Weaving as a veteran war photographer, who befriends a Sudanese refugee while back home. Preparing for an upcoming exhibition, his new friend gets involved in his process and questions whether photos from a massacre in his village should be displayed. The film also stars Andrew Luri, Hayley McElhinney, and Bolude Watson. It’s a solid drama, reminding us how important connection and understanding is in our world. This is a full-on promo trailer that sets up the whole film, but it’s still a good film to keep an eye on.
Hearts and Bones follows war photographer Daniel Fisher (Weaving) who has returned home to the news of his wife’s pregnancy. Determined not to let fatherhood alter his way of life, he begins preparations for an upcoming exhibition and his next overseas assignment. However, as the birth of his child draws near he struggles to keep his rising anxiety hidden. The exhibition affects the life of South Sudanese refugee Sebastian Ahmed (Luri, who is also a refugee in real life) who has created a safe life in Australia with his wife and child. Hearts and Bones is directed by English filmmaker Ben Lawrence, his first narrative after making the doc Ghosthunter, and a short film, previously. The screenplay is written by Beatrix Christian and Ben Lawrence. This premiered at the Sydney Film Festival earlier the summer, and is playing at TIFF next this month. There’s no other official release confirmed yet – stay tuned. First impression? Who’s interested?