Carol Morley is best known for her documentaries Dreams of a Life and The Alcohol Years; her second narrative feature (after Edge) is a dark, twisted and thoughtful coming-of-ager set at a British girls’ school in the late 1960s, partly inspired by a recent case of psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria, in the US.

Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and newcomer Florence Pugh star as two teenage friends, Lydia and Abbie. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Lydia begins twitching and fainting at school. Her malady infects fellow pupils and teachers but stern headmistress, Miss Alvaro (Monica Dolan), thinks it’s all down to their overactive imaginations.

Mixing supernatural elements with drama, choreographed dance with original music, The Falling is its own beast yet has hints of Heavenly Creatures, The Craft and even The Woods. Terrible secrets hide in the grounds of this school and the deterioration of Lydia’s mental state is  strikingly rendered by cinematographer Agnès Godard (Beau Travail).

Katherine McLaughlin
The List

With special guest Carol Morley


Please note that the festival is over 18s only