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The fiction feature debut of directors Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull is a stark and often bleak story of a man trying to find his way back from a life lived in solitude.

After the Foot and Mouth epidemic that swept Britain in 2001 devastates his family’s farm, Adam is living a transient life. Moving from town to town, picking up casual work and seeking comfort in drink, Adam is content to drift. But when his younger brother contacts him Adam decides to make the journey home. As he heads towards his estranged family, he visits old haunts and old flames including Hayley, now working in a sex club. The spectre of his past still looms large and Adam realises that the sooner he returns to his family, the sooner he can try and lay his ghosts to rest.

Barry Ward gives an amazing performance in the lead role as Seomore and Bull craft a darkly beautiful journey into the margins of British society. The result is often hypnotic as the bleak situations that Adam often finds himself in contrast with the starkly beautiful industrial panoramas of the UK.

It’s this beauty that offers light amongst the darkness and a glimmer of reconciliation as Adam tries to find a path away from his self-imposed exile.

“Blood Cells” is an accomplished and moving piece of work that speaks of sadness, solitude but – most of all – hope.

PÖFF / Laurence Boyce

UK / Italy 2014