A stunning debut by Australian director Kasimir Burgess, Fell is an entrancing and enigmatic drama – a dreamlike, visually resplendent tale of nature, revenge and redemption. While on a camping trip, Thomas’ only daughter, Lara, is killed by a logging truck in a hit-and-run accident for which the driver, Luke, serves a prison sentence. Stricken with grief, Thomas sheds his urban life and his identity, and moves to the remote town where Lara was killed. There he takes on a new name, Chris, and finds work as a logger. When Luke is released from prison and returns to work, Chris connives to work as his partner in dangerously high tree-logging work. Every time Luke climbs, Chris holds his life in his hands.
Burgess has an expert handle on the proceedings, ratcheting up the tension as the two men, both damaged, grow closer through their affinity for nature. The forest, with its beautiful tall trees, is as important a character, seemingly exerting a strange power over the men. Matthew Nable and Daniel Henshall are superb as the protagonists, delicately conveying a range of emotions and subtly embodying the unsettling atmosphere the film creates. Fell marks the emergence of a distinctive new voice on the Australian film scene.