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Strawberry Fields

Directed by Frances Lea

UK, 2011

Cornerhouse, 18 July 2012

Frances Lea’s film feels already like a classic; it’s an edgy pastoral with a timeless parable-like quality.

The setting is an industrial-scale farm where the fields are full of strawberries; naturally everyone is there for the seasonal work, to pick fruit, but they’re also there to escape, to put the real world on hold for the summer.  For Gillian (Anna Madeley) there’s a budding romance, then she’s joined by her sister Emily (Christine Bottomley)…

Just as it is best to take a good look at a strawberry before biting into it, as a worm may have wheedled its way inside, so there can be a worm in paradise, as here.

In essence Strawberry Fields is a film about self-care, about knowing when finally to let go.  You’re kept captivated and not a little anxious throughout, due to the copacetic storytelling and the excellent performances.  Christine Bottomley as the flighty sister is especially fine.

Lea’s accomplished directorial debut was shown as part of the New British Cinema Quarterly programme, and details of  future screenings of Strawberry Fields can be seen on their website.