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Hoard 18

Luna Carmoon, UK, 2023, 126m.

British writer-director Luna Carmoon draws on her own life for this visceral psychological drama that won her the Sutherland Award for Best First Feature at BFI London Film Festival 2023.

Seven-year-old Maria’s (Lily-Beau Leach) South East London childhood with her mother Cynthia (Hayley Squires), an obsessive hoarder, feels sparkling and magical until tragedy separates them and Maria enters a more conventional world. Years later, the now-teenage Maria (Saura Lightfoot Leon) seeks to reconnect with her mother the only way she knows how - bin-dipping for discarded treasures and collecting black bags full of festering garbage. When she meets Michael (Joseph Quinn), another troubled teen, they develop an intense and animalistic bond.

The Garden Cinema View

Luna Carmoon's Hoard is another bold debut film by a British female director that joins the ranks of recent unique voices: Rose Glass (Saint Maud), Charlotte Wells (Aftersun), Molly Manning Walker (How to Have Sex), and Georgia Oakley (Blue Jean).

Hoard explores the peculiar ways in which grief finds expression in our present-day minds and bodies. It also delves into the unexpected and frequently dysfunctional links between trauma and sexuality in a non-judgemental manner - a fascinating territory that remains largely uncharted in film.

Carmoon gets strong performances from Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake), compelling as a sympathetic, loving mother grappling with mental health challenges. But the real power of the film lies in the chemistry between leading actor Saura Lightfoot-Leon and Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things). Their scenes together convey their subconscious psychosexual connection, one that captivates the viewer with its raw intensity.

Saura Lightfoot Leon, Joseph Quinn, Hayley Squires

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