Joanna Scanlan, Nathalie Richard, Talid Ariss, Nasser Memarzia
Veteran TV and film actress Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It, Pin Cushion, How to Build a Girl) gives a quietly devastating performance as a woman exploring her late husband’s secrets in After Love, the arresting feature debut from BAFTA-nominated short filmmaker Aleem Khan (Three Brothers).
Grappling with the unexpected death of her husband (Nasser Memarzia), Mary Hussain (Scanlan), who took the name Fatima when she converted to his Muslim faith, is tidying his things in their Dover home when she stumbles upon a secret, and sets off across the Channel to Calais to uncover the truth.
Sensitively directed by Khan, After Love is an accomplished, elegantly realised and insightful drama about the possibilities of connection across physical and cultural barriers. A remarkable debut, with a delicacy and tenderness that is testament to the quality of its writing and performances, it is brilliantly led by Scanlan. Usually seen in (memorable) character roles and often hailed for her comedic work, she is revelatory here as a woman struggling to cope with the uncertainties of her past and future after a complicated loss, ably supported by Nathalie Richard (Jeune et Jolie) and newcomer Talid Ariss.