London Film Festival: Second Coming

Directed by debbie tucker green
Starring Nadine Marshall, Idris Elba and Kai Francis-Lewis

by Amanda Farley

Second Coming is the second feature film written and directed by London playwright debbie tucker green.

It is set in modern day London and follows Jax (Nadine Marsall) as she comes to terms with her pregnancy. After four miscarriages she never expect to have any more children. Especially because she hasn’t had sex with her husband (Idris Elba) for quite a while or anyone else for that matter. Confused and suffering from visions she is unsure if she should keep the baby. As her marriage and her relationships with her family and friends begin to suffer, Jax becomes more and more convinced that this baby is miraculous, in fact it might just be the second coming.

tucker green is an exceptional writer. She has the ability to say so much even when her characters say nothing. A master of the pause or half said thought, she brings to life a family that is glorious in its ordinariness. In depicting life in such a naturalistic way she is able to really get to a level of humour very seldom seen on screen. She crafts a world where the light and shade of human nature are under a spotlight and where we see people we instantly recognise as real. Their truth feels effortless.

She creates a real sense of intimacy within this world. It feels incredibly truthful and it is wonderful to see a black family portrayed with such heart and authenticity. In fact everything about the film from the raw and messy soundtrack to the handheld camera helps to build a sense of verisimilitude.

The cast are well chosen. Especially Kai Francis-Lewis who is wonderful as Jax’s son JJ. Having just turned 12 this year he is an actor worth looking out for in the future. He has a natural gentleness and his scenes with Idris are gorgeous. They really capture a sense of the the father and son relationship and you can feel a real connection between both actors.

The story never shy away from the hardness or darker side of human nature. In fact it seems to celebrate our flaws and frailties in a way that is refreshing and different.Throughout tucker green’s voice shine through and it is a voice worth listening to. Ambiguous though the story might be, it is completely captivating from start to finish. We feel like privileged voyageurs, watching a life unfold before our eyes, lucky to have the opportunity to glimpse into this family’s life.

The film isn’t without its flaws but this director, this cast and this kind of storytelling are certainly something we need to see more of.

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