3 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 77 minutes
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As the title suggests, Speak Like a Child is about the process of growing up and letting go of the past. Three childhood friends who share a dark secret reunite as adults. Their differing motivations and desires for the future result in both further tragedy and, finally, catharsis. Documentary filmmaker John Akomfrah and cinematographer Jonathan Collinson have shot a beautiful looking film with exquisite use of colour, light and composition. However, the disjointed unfocussed narrative makes it difficult to receive the full-intended emotional impact. The story, based loosely on actual events from screenwriter Danny Padmore’s life, is one you’ve most likely seen before. While select scenes and images hold significant power they aren ‘t strung smoothly together. Several scenes are simply superfluous and distracting. The end of the film ties together most of the seemingly disparate narrative elements but it’s a long, cold journey to get to that point.

Posted on December 7, 1998 in Reviews by

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