I did attend the closing night of the Chicago Critics Film Festival at the Music Box theatre and got the opportunity to see Paul Harrill’s Light from Light. I would describe Light from Light as a drama that is combined with melancholy, quietness, and desolation set in Knoxville, Tennessee. The film stars Marin Ireland and Jim Gaffigan, the one who the world knows for his clean and hysterical comedy and his tagline HOT POCKETS! However, Gaffigan is not the funny man in this film, he is the widower who is deep in thought after a series of dramatic events. The film is about connection and finding the answers to unanswered questions after the death of someone. As you might guess, the film is not very positive.
Marin Ireland plays Sheila and she is a paranormal investigator that is hired to search for potential ghosts at the request of others. She meets Richard (Gaffigan) and he feels that there has been strange paranormal activity going on at his farm after the passing of his wife, Susanne. She died in a plane crash a year prior to the odd activities happening in his home. Richard wants Sheila to try and figure out why his lights have been going on and off their own, and why his items move when he sets them places. This makes Richard start to believe that their may be a ghost in his home and that it may be because of his wife or that perhaps it is her at his home.
The weird activity causing Sheila to be at Richard’s home begins to make them grow closer as friends. The film had a few moments where they question themselves and are curious if they are alright in the lives they have, or if they feel they need more friends or more support from someone. The film focuses on support and feeling like people are still together. Even the person who has died is still around, just invisible. The film helped me to realize that people who truly care about someone do not let them down. That is because Sheila does not give up on Richard’s home. She wants to come to a solution to determine if it is really his wife that is still there for him even past the time of her death. Light from Light is vast with beautiful scenery and solitude that will grasp viewers in the moments of loneliness and connection between Sheila and Richard.
Light from Light has received all kinds of press while it has been screened at other festivals. It seems that many viewers have had mixed emotions. I did as well, because the film is not great nor horrible. It is just set to be how it is which is enticing in its solitude and geared on Sheila and Richard. The focus is their feelings and attitudes towards how the paranormal activity around them makes them feel. Overall, I give Light from Light three stars.