Antoine BourgesCanada70 minutes2017ColourEnglish
Antoine Bourges' formally assured feature debut is a natural expansion from the now Toronto-based filmmaker's previous trilogy of short films about Vancouver's depressed Downtown Eastside, once again depicting spaces and places rarely seen in cinema. Deragh Campbell (last seen in Sofia Bohdanowicz's Never Eat Alone) stars as Isolde, a support caseworker trainee who is assigned to Eric (Nathan Roder), a man charged with theft and awaiting a court hearing. In her efforts to get Eric released, Isolde struggles with the paucity of resources granted to her, the rules of the legal system to which she is beholden, and one of the more delicate components of her mandate: creating bonds of trust with those she's assisting, which, with Eric, proves easier said than done. A quietly moving portrayal of the many who fall through the cracks in society and the few people trying to help them, Fail to Appear explores both the inner workings of institutions as well as the intangible gaps that exist between people.