Fail to Appear
True North | Future//Present
Deragh Campbell (Never Eat Alone) stars as Isolde, a support caseworker trainee working in Toronto. She’s still adjusting to the protocols and challenges of her job when she’s assigned to Eric (Nathan Roder), a man charged with theft and awaiting a court hearing. As Isolde prepares for the hearing, she finds herself struggling. In her efforts to get Eric released she has to cope with the paucity of resources granted to her, with the rules of the legal system to which she is beholden, and with one of the more delicate components of her mandate: creating bonds of trust with those she’s assisting, which, with Eric, proves easier said than done.
Filmmaker Antoine Bourges previously made a trilogy of short films about Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and here he again points his camera at spaces rarely articulated in cinema, exploring the inner workings and human elements of institutions and support systems as well as the intangible gaps that exist between people. A moving and formally assured feature debut, Fail to Appear is a portrayal of those who quietly fall through the cracks in society and the few people trying to help them. It’s both a studious analysis of the social systems in place and a poignant reflection on the difficulty of human connection across social strata.
— Adam Cook