The 2022 film “Aftersun” by Charlotte Wells shows a hearting story of a father and daughter’s trip to Turkey. 

The film premiered at the Keene State Putnam Theatre from March 3 to 6. The themes of this film are love, perspective, and acceptance, and it is told through the memory of the daughter, Sophie, of a trip she went on with her father at age 11 to Turkey.

 She has a camera that recorded the vacation and watches the moments from the trip, but the story also shows what wasn’t shown on the camera.

 We see the relationship between the father, Calum, and young Sophie. When they first land in Turkey, Sophie calls her sibling to tell her they landed. Calum and Sophie’s mom are separated and she lives with her mom in Scotland. 

This trip is the first time Sophie has seen her father in a while. We see their relationship through the banter and how they react to the outside world of the resort they are staying at. In one scene, we see a parent disciplining a young child for throwing a tantrum, and how Sophie and Calum say they are glad they aren’t like that. 

One thing that is clear as the film goes on is the mental well-being of Calum. While on the trip, he displays signs of depression and breaks down or withdraws. When we first meet him he has a cast from an injury that we aren’t told of.

 He is into meditation and Tai chi, which seem like the only things that give him peace. He lies to Sophie that he doesn’t smoke cigarettes, but does it when she’s asleep on the balcony.

 Additionally, we see the perspective of Sophie, an 11-year-old trying to figure out who she is. She interacts with older kids at the resort by playing pool with her dad, and in the arcade; but, she wants to know who her father is and the cause of the separation that has affected her. I fully enjoyed this film – the narrative, the cinematography, and the color grading is amazing.

 I enjoyed the depiction of the father-daughter relationships, the struggles both of them are facing, and the theme of perspective. 

While Calum is having an existential crisis about getting older, Sophie is just starting her life. He even mentions that to her when he is letting her know she can do anything in life and she’s got time. 

A perfect ending for a film that I felt suited the story and, after experiencing it for the first time, makes me want to watch it again. 

Shawn Belden can be contacted at

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