Archive of films The Falling / The Falling

United Kingdom
2014, 102 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2015

All secrets come out eventually, noted Carl Gustav Jung in his work on the collective unconscious. The secret in the mysterious drama The Falling is unexpected and, in this case, Jung’s assertion certainly holds true. This muse-inspired portrayal of young people growing up in 1969 and the generational conflict of the era are conveyed with formal subtlety in the style of poetic realism.


The director characterises her enigmatic drama set in an English girls’ school in 1969 as a story of twisted adolescence during an era that itself was coming of age. Sixteen-year-old Abbie and Lydia are best friends. A tragedy at the school triggers a mysterious epidemic among the pupils. The authorities claim there is nothing seriously wrong, but Lydia refuses to accept this and, in seeking the truth, discovers a long-buried secret. Morley’s inspiration for her aesthetically creative film, which exercises formal subtlety to capture the girls’ feelings and the atmosphere of the time, was the poetic realism of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and director Roy Andersson’s portrayal of the sexuality of teenagers in A Swedish Love Story (En kärlekshistoria, 1969). “1969 was a fascinating year. While the British bemoaned the introduction of the new fifty-pence coin, it was also the year man landed on the Moon. My characters are emblematic of the period, teenagers trying to reach out for new, unexplored ways while the adults look back, unable to relinquish the past,” states the director.

Jindřiška Bláhová

About the director

Carol Morley (b. 1966, Stockport, Great Britain) studied at the Central St Martin School of Art in London and then earned her master’s in film and video at London’s College of Printing. After several short documentaries she shot the feature-length drama Edge (2010). She gained further kudos a year later with the documentary Dreams of a Life, which probes beyond the tabloids to uncover the story of a woman whose body lay undiscovered in her London bedsit for three years. This film, nominated for Best Documentary at the British Independent Film Awards, was also screened to Karlovy Vary audiences. An intriguing talent, Morley began to establish herself at the start of the new millennium with a series of shorts, dominated by the documentary The Alcohol Years (2000), in which the director, who left school at sixteen, explores her time as a teenager. The film won Best Short Documentary at the Melbourne IFF.


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United Kingdom
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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Carol Morley
Screenplay: Carol Morley
Dir. of Photography: Agnès Godard
Music: Tracey Thorn
Editor: Chris Wyatt
Art Director: Vanessa Blackburn
Producer: Cairo Cannon, Luc Roeg
Production: Independent Films, Cannon and Morley Productions
Coproduction: BBC Films, BFI
Cast: Maxine Peake, Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh, Anna Burnett, Greta Scacchi
Sales: Independent

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