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Below

Below (Maziar Lahooti, 2019) wr. Ian Wilding, prod. Veronica Gleeson, Nick Batzias, Kate Neyton; Anthony LaPaglia, Ryan Corr, Morgana O'Reilly, Alison Whyte, Phoenix Raeli, Robert Rabiah, Zenia Starr, Adam T. Perkins, Kenneth Ransom, Lauren Campbell, Maziar Lahooti, Luke Esme, Luke Hewitt; scifi; Fremantle (Prison); MIFF August

In a near-future, darknet grifter Dougie is recruited to work security at a refugee detention centre. There, he is drawn into an underground operation blackmailing detainees to fight for profit. When tragedy strikes courageous fighter Azad, Dougie locates his hitherto dormant conscience and takes a stand.

Lahooti is given carte blanche in terms of visual styling, delivering a hyper-stylized film that demonstrates his contemporary filmmaking oeuvre. The visuals are striking and crisp, creating vast landscapes to highlight isolation before enclosing individuals within dark, confined walls. Graphics communicate the concerning-ease which cyber-crime is conducted and work in tandem with an electronic score that brings a heavy mood to the film. Hagan Osborne, artsreview.com.au.

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