A strict father tries to raise his adolescent son in a post-apocalyptic world where most others choose to kill their children and save them the suffering. Together, they live a meagre and isolated life, scrounging for fish while living in a crumbling house which floats on the edge of the river. Every night, The Father diligently chronicles the day in a journal which becomes an untouchable tome for The Son who was never taught to read or write.
After the old man dies, The Son sets out on a journey into uncharted territory, desperate to find someone who will read him the words of the only kin he’s ever known.
Leon de La Vallée makes his acting debut with a feral performance that fits perfectly into the harsh reality of the film. Shot against the muddy landscape of the Po Delta, Cupellini takes us through a grounded and gritty sci-fi that’s committed to an idea instead of the minutiae that too often takes over the genre. The Land of the Sons pays close attention to familial relationships in a world that doesn’t remember what love actually looked like. Here, it’s used to chastise and control in a story that’s aware of just how much we forget when we don’t have a way to record the past. — Ammar Keshodia