Ten years after a child with miraculous gifts arrives at an isolated East Coast island town, her adoptive parents must decide whether her safety is more important than their community's prosperity.
The King Tide
A struggling East Coast island community is given a mysterious lifeline when an infant washes up on their beach. The baby radiates a rejuvenating aura, healing anyone who spends a few moments in her presence. But after a decade of prosperity, Isla's adoptive parents must decide whether her safety takes precedence over their community's expectations.
Working from a screenplay by Albert Shin (Disappearance at Clifton Hill, TIFF ’19) and producer William Woods, director Christian Sparkes pitches The King Tide at an observational mode that marries the quiet tension of his debut drama Cast No Shadow and the intensity of his subsequent revenge thriller Hammer.
Clayne Crawford (also at this year’s Festival with Brian Helgeland’s Finestkind) and Lara Jean Chorostecki (who co-starred in Hammer) play the couple who raise Isla as their own, and must decide how best to balance her needs with their neighbours’ demands. Frances Fisher, Michael Greyeyes, Emily Piggford, and Crawford’s Rectify stepbrother Aden Young all play key roles, and Alix West Lefler gives the young Isla a delicate affect that immediately distinguishes her from all the other kids.
It’s a story about an insular community refusing to accept a much larger world beyond its shores, mirroring our specific cultural circumstance while serving as a timeless meditation on faith and fundamentalism. It’s also about parents desperately trying to protect their child from an increasingly hostile world, afraid their love may not be enough.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: violence