Communion‘ is like a prayer – it’s a short film that you can really appreciate and feel in silence and contemplation with open senses. However, its atmosphere does not touch upon metaphysical areas in the Tarkovsky tradition, being deeply rooted in the intimacy and everyday humanity of the characters. Séan Coyle’s project is essentially a poignant and tender exploration into the lives of two souls scarred by the traumas of the past, striving to regain their lives and the joy of living. Adopting a temperate yet extremely coherent tone in articulating the psychology of the protagonists, the director offers the audience a moment of reflection, illustrating how even in the darkest moments, everyone can find salvation through faith. It’s not necessarily faith in God that we are talking about – although the short film is, to a good extent, centered on that – but faith in oneself, the faith that you can be stronger than all the ghosts from the past that try to take hold of you.


Thus, the short film follows the healing journey of two characters facing rejection, violence, and a deep spiritual crisis. On one hand, there is Father Owens, haunted by the nightmare of a childhood poisoned by an abusive father, trying to understand if he can still find an answer in faith or live up to the expectations of the God he believes in. Aoife, on the other hand, is torn by conflicting feelings once her husband dies, being unable to understand whether she can rebuild her life after a catastrophic marriage.


Extremely consistent in terms of the psychological background of the characters, Séan Coyle’s project exudes a melancholic, autumnal air, evoking the sensation of estrangement, but also the opportunity to find oneself, against the backdrop of an austere but fascinating nature. With talent and professionalism, the director creates this emotional radiography in order to deliver a sensitive experience dedicated not necessarily to a niche audience, but to those who take their time to appreciate the qualities of such a poetic short film. ‘Communion’ captures with striking naturalness the agonizing inner conflict, but also the providential salvation of the one who will learn to move on, fearlessly accepting their own traumas.


For the sensitivity, authenticity, and professionalism with which it illustrates the emotional symbiosis of two souls as they begin their healing process, ‘Communion’ was awarded the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the August 2023 edition of TMFF.