Lapwing (2021)

  • Thriller
  • 1h 27m

The debut feature of both director Phillip Stevens and writer Laura Turner is a sobering prospect; a period piece which addresses racism, misogyny and sexual violence with a level of unflinching immersion. But Turner’s skill is in centring the film on the journey of her female protagonist Patience (Hannah Douglas), who, despite enduring the depths of humanity’s depravity, is never written as a passive victim.

The year is 1555. The Egyptian Act has been passed, stipulating that all ‘gypsies’ must vacate England immediately and anyone found aiding them could be executed. In exchange for a fee, David (Emmett J Scanlan), the leader of a small, isolated community, agrees to help an Egyptian family who must stay a month on their land until a ship is to arrive to take them away. But when David’s mute daughter-in-law Patience pursues an affair with one of the outsiders, she is thrust into a violent and vicious psychological battle with David, who sees her actions as a direct rebellion and a threat to the power he desperately wants to maintain over their remote community.

Lapwing bears a resemblance to Jennifer Kent’s masterful The Nightingale, with stunning, wind-swept natural locations underpinning the often upsetting subject matter, and a bleak, chilly atmosphere.


Philip Stevens


Laura Turner




United Kingdom

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