Floating 10 miles beyond the tip of Great Britain like a barren moon that’s been anchored to the rest of the world by a rusty chain running beneath the North Sea, the Orkney Islands are a place so primordial and extreme that even the scientists who live there fall back on folklore to explain it. Maybe the silent tremors that vibrate through the land are caused by the impact of ocean water crashing into underwater caves — but it seems just as plausible that they might be produced by a buried dragon the size of the entire world unfurling its massive tail. Maybe the poor souls who drown off the coast are truly lost and gone forever, but on this blustery archipelago — where the winter breeze can only be measured in scenes from “King Lear” — it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to believe that the dead turn into adorable selkies who wash to shore and dance naked on the beaches in the moonlight.
After all, there must be some kind of magic that holds people there, even if that magic is fringed by a constant threat of madness; a madness that Orkney is liable to trigger but unable to treat, as the nearest facility for mental illness is located all the way over in Aberdeen. On the night that Runa was born, her bipolar father had to be airlifted off the islands amid a manic episode. When confronted by the wildest extremes of their own nature, the people of Orkney — as rough and jagged as the land, but absent the legends invented to explain it — have no…
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The post “Saoirse Ronan Shines in a Windswept Recovery Drama – IndieWire” by David Ehrlich was published on 01/20/2024 by www.indiewire.com