An affecting, claustrophobic tale of an old man living in a squalid flat.
Both restrained and affecting, Pere Vilà i Barceló's The Stoning of St Stephen is a claustrophobic tale of an old man named Etienne living in a squalid flat. He spends his days alone with his harridan-of-a-daughter continually trying to get him to leave and his brother trying an altogether more gentle form of persuasion to convince him to join him in a nursing home.
But, haunted by the ghosts of his family, Etienne cannot leave his flat – even when his health worsens and he collapses. Swinging from scenes of Etienne tetchily arguing with his family to long stretches of him walking around his flat musing on his lost life, the film is a grim and often stagey affair. But, mainly thanks to the central performance by Lou Castel, there’s still something sadly compelling about the film.