Skip to main content

An image from Fail to Appear.

  • Fail to Appear
  • Written and directed by Antoine Bourges
  • fStarring Deragh Campbell and Nathan Roder
  • Classification N/A
  • 70 minutes

Story continues below advertisement

rating

Fail to Appear is a quiet gem that draws the viewer in from its opening frames — a long, steady shot of office equipment in an aesthetically challenged basement. Using a mix of professional performers and non-actors, the debut feature from Canadian director Antoine Bourges is experimental filmmaking that is devoid of bells and whistles, but also wholly accessible and utterly watchable.

This shoestring-budget indie Canadian film about a rookie social worker and the system she must learn to navigate takes viewers on an insightful trip into a bleak, bureaucratic world with heart and humanity. Viewers will find it hard to shake.

The film starts off focusing on Isolde (Deragh Campbell) and then becomes about Eric (Nathan Roder). Isolde is a literature graduate and social-work trainee; she is the case worker for Eric, who is charged with theft and has an upcoming court appearance.

The performances by the non-actors, including Roder, are convincing — subtle yet assured. But it’s Campbell who is a naturalistic revelation as the neophyte case worker trying to find her feet in a world where too many people fall through the cracks.

Fail to Appear screens June 7 to 14 at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto (tiff.net)

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter