Wayfinder (2021)

June 25th, 2022
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Larry Achiampong; Cast: Perside Rodgrigues; UK 2022, 83 min.

Wayfinder is British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong’s first feature, a more poetic and languid version of an unfinished project, based on series of apocalyptic cartoons where isolated figures walked through a torrid landscape, breathing filtered air.

In Wayfinder the wanderer is called Perside (Rodrigues) and she crosses England from Hadrian’s Wall to Margate, the freewheeling narrative touching on cultural heritage, exclusion and displacement, with regional aspects replacing a nationwide view of conflicts, current and historical. On her journey Perside visits a housing estate in Wolverhampton, a cafe in Bethnal Green, the National Gallery at night, and a fun fair in Margate. In Bethnal Green pays her last respects to a friend, and discovers that the longest surviving building is a funeral parlour, dating back some 200 years. Letting agencies and health food shops have replaced the old-fashioned outlets of her youth. Back then the Blair mirage of “Education, Education” was paramount and when she finished university with her siblings the three of them went straight to the local job Centre after the graduation ceremony. Their mother had bought a flat, hoping that her children would be able to pay off the mortgage. In reality it was bought by a wealthy man for his daughter who was studying from abroad. And while home pays and important element in all the segments, ambiguity overlays any identification. This is a Britain which is not only punished by the epidemic. Achiampong’s visionary outlook catches all the small details without losing the overview. AS


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