Any one-character film is always a challenge because it involves not only an actor / actress to support the whole dramatic conflict of the storyline but also a director extremely focused on the small details and the dynamism of the composition. From this point of view, ‘The Going’ is a success, and this happens thanks to both the lead actress and the talent of director Mairin O’Hagan. The director’s initiative is even more commendable, as she chooses a seemingly risky subject due to its lack of concrete action: a woman’s inner struggle with the loss of her wife. We could say that the stakes of the short film excel precisely in its poetic, implosive atmosphere since the project is filled with moments of silence rather than words. The words, on the other hand, when they break this oppressive curtain of silence, belong especially to the writer Thomas Hardy, becoming rather a discreet presence that does not affect this agonizing and tender cinematic poem about the absence of a loved one. The aim of the project culminates, in fact, at this point: to what extent can cinema – an art par excellence focused on the presence of actors – express the pain of an absence? The director’s attempt to achieve what is immaterial, to express through music and silence the impossibility of communication, becomes the main challenge and, also, the great merit of the short film.


Death does not equate to the disappearance of someone. Especially when we’re talking about a loved one. Even though her wife is dead, Emma feels her presence everywhere. But what is the boundary between reality and the deceptive world of our senses? Especially when our thoughts cling to any trace of the absent person’s presence?


Both a poetic testimony about the mourning of love and a plunge into the tormented soul of someone who risks being crushed by the burden of not accepting the other’s death, the project is also about the resilience of the female soul. But beyond all this, Mairin O’Hagan, already a director with a mature artistic vision, offers us here the proof that she knows how to lead and balance all the components of the cinematographic construct in a sensitive and impactful work. The clarity and quality of the image, the subtle but heart-breaking musical interventions, the “clean” and well-articulated editing are just as many opportunities to enjoy an admirable project like ‘The Going, which we are happy to award at our festival.


For the sensitivity and suggestiveness with which it expresses the struggle with the absence of the loved one and for the way in which the director organically combines the components of this painfully beautiful cinematographic poem, ‘The Going’ was awarded the Film of the Month distinction in the April 2022 edition of TMFF.