Writer/Director Amber Sealey’s third feature film “No Light and No Land Anywhere” is a poignant story of one woman’s search for the truth while simultaneously trying not to lose herself in the process. Fresh off of a breakup, London native Lexi (Gemma Brockis) risks what little she has left to travel halfway across the world in hopes of finding her estranged father. Once she lands in Los Angeles, with a carefully curated suitcase of clothing in tow, our protagonist is immediately thrust into less than ideal circumstances, putting the city’s underbelly of casual sexual hookups, revelations, and its realistic, less-than-glamorous image at the forefront.
Gemma Brockis has an indescribable, enchanting quality that makes Lexi’s struggle one we can’t turn away from. Her quirkiness is celebrated here, where emotion is not just portrayed through dialogue, but expressed through a version of performance art as well. In an abstract way, Gemma gives Lexi another outlet in which to channel her feelings of loneliness, longing, and love.
Amber Sealey solidifies herself as a director to watch, and not just because she is a woman (that’s just the icing on top). Her ability to transcend cliché expectations of her characters and find a little light in otherwise dark situations is a refreshing take on the female-centric genre of “finding oneself.” Her protagonists are confident women who do not apologize for being themselves, rather they go to show that one’s self is enough.
For foreigners and natives alike, Los Angeles can feel like a lonely place. Despite its large population, endless amounts of distractions, and the everyday hustle and bustle of city life, one can feel so very alone. This is especially felt by Lexi as she searches for the missing link in her family tree. The vibrancy of the city is fully felt through the cinematography (shout out to cinematographer Catherine Goldschmidt); the foggy mornings and seedy free newspapers are captured through handheld camerawork and really make the viewer feels as if we are there. The film’s all around authenticity, coupled with incredible performances and execution, makes “No Light and No Land Anywhere” feel both intimate and fearless.
“No Light and No Land Anywhere” is executive produced by indie film heavyweight Miranda July, and premiered at the LA Film Festival on Friday, June 3rd. A second screening on Jun 8 at 6:25 PM has been added by popular demand. Buy tickets here.