Set within the Outer Hebrides, a verdant archipelago to the west of mainland Scotland, “The Highway Dance” is a typical interval drama that arrives at arduous truths with a hammy supply.
Kirsty (Hermione Corfield) is a stressed magnificence residing along with her sister and mom in a distant crofting (small tenant farming) group. It’s the years round World Struggle I, and compelled conscriptions are sweeping the nation — together with Kirsty’s beau, a poetry-reading softy named Murdo (Will Fletcher).
Earlier than Murdo and three different native males are shipped off to the Western Entrance, the village honors them with an evening of dance and drink. It’s right here that Kirsty might be violently raped, an assault which the director, Richie Adams, depicts blurrily, unfolding in darkness.
Tailored from the 2002 Scottish finest vendor by John MacKay, this run-of-the-mill weepie spends the majority of its time detailing the aftermath of the assault. Kirsty turns into pregnant, and she or he’s compelled to hide not simply her bodily state however her psychological trauma from the snooping members of her ultrareligious city. Cryptic sermon scenes about sinners and Devil play all through Kirsty’s ordeal, elevating the stakes — although Kirsty’s not the one one who has gone via hell and again in these components, as evidenced by a whisper community of wizened girls who band collectively to drag her via.
The offender stays unknown till the bitter finish, a revelation served with a bland kind of twist — that any man is able to such violence. It’s an uninspired take, together with using rape as a plot machine.
Shifting between stagy sincerity and startling realism (the labor scene is especially colourful), “The Highway Dance” is a vividly rendered, if in the end schematic portrait of female resilience.
The Highway Dance
Not rated. Operating time: 1 hour 56 minutes. In theaters.