The Divide (2018)


Directed by Perry King
Country: USA

“The Divide” marks the directorial debut of Perry King, a veteran actor who appeared in the 1977 morbid comedy "Andy Warhol's Bad”, the ludicrous disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow”, and the minor crime drama “The Class of 1984”. Yet, he is probably most known for television series.

King always dreamt of directing his own movie, and he did it with honesty, outside of the Hollywood circle, and with his own Californian ranch of El Dorado County as a backdrop.

The script began to take shape in 2012 after he had met writer Jana F. Brown a year before. It tells the story of Sam Kincaid, a forgetful, aging farmer, impersonated by Perry himself, who has perfectly conscious of his gradual memory loss. Sometimes he forgets the words for simple things or what he just said a minute before, often mixing people's names and identities. In addition to this, he has these terrible nightmares every night, which are linked to his past, and feels much more tired and debilitated than usual due to the persisting drought that affects his land. Luckily, he has Luke Higgins (Bryan Kaplan) working for him, a solitary ranch hand who cares about him.

Luke is also trying to make amends with a tumultuous past and never stays too long in the same place. However, he decides the opposite this time as he carefully observes the state Sam got into; at least, until speaking with his estranged daughter Sarah (Sara Arrington), a vet tech who arrives at the farm with her son, C.J. (Luke Colombero).

This good-natured, Western-themed tale was shot entirely in black-and-white, evoking Perry’s favorite films from the 30’s and 40’s. Its straight narrative includes some mystery, presenting flashes of conflict and discontentment throughout. Still, some of you might probably complain about the slow developments, hinged on the inflexible mood and pace, and for which contributes the melancholic country music composed by Molly Mason.

For a small independent film addressing guilt and trauma within a family, “The Divide” manages to stand on its feet. Despite the predictable ending and a bashful posture, there are emotions running steadily, and the hope of a happy future ultimately makes us enjoy a drama film that also serves as a showcase for King’s estimable acting capabilities.