IMDb rating: 7.6/10
Orlando Von Einsiedel, his sister Gwennie and brother Robin embark on an emotionally gruelling journey on foot through the United Kingdom, visiting picturesque spots where they used to vacation as a family when they were younger.
Because they are trying to find a way to collectively grieve for their brother Evelyn, who took his own life 13 years earlier, and are searching for a path to healing from the trauma of his death.
This documentary is no less difficult to watch than the Oscar-winning The White Helmets, which Orlando shot in war zones such as Syria. It’s not the disaster wrought by armed conflict that he’s focusing on this time – it’s the devastation caused by suicide.
Evelyn was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his teens, and the way his life and his death affected his family is seen unfiltered on their walks. Sometimes the siblings are joined by their divorced parents, who remember different things about their son and offer a new perspective – they show us what it means to raise a child with mental health issues, and their own sense of how they may have failed him.
As IndieWire says, “After a while, Evelyn’s loss became the unspoken truth hiding in the seams of every conversation, like a terrible secret that each of his loved ones carried with them in the linings of their coats.” The review adds, “For all of its bucolic pleasures, Evelyn is like looking through the eye of a merciless storm, with Orlando’s focus pointed outwards toward the untold millions of people who are struggling to endure this same predicament.”
Guardian says the film is “[A] raw, unfiltered view of the fragility of family dynamics is exposed movingly, and sometimes comically, throughout.”