Out on a walk in the woods, Ian, an introverted teenager, stumbles upon a girl his age hanging from a tree. Upon this traumatic sight, he locks himself up and refuses to leave his room. During many years, Ian lives a solitary existence. However, a second tragic event makes him put an end to his hermitage. The death of his mother, the one person who cared for him, forces him to begin his life anew… or put an end to it. Gripped by the belief that he has no place in this world, Ian decides to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. However, as chance would have it, Ian gets into his car and finds himself sitting next to the lifeless body of a young woman. Fascinated by her beauty as well as by her suicide note, Ian takes the corpse to his home and finds its presence surprisingly comforting. The young man wishes to relive this experience, knowing that there is only one way to do so. He starts reaching out to suicidal women, offering to accompany them in their fatal process. Thus begins an unexpected journey of initiation between life and death that will lead Ian to finally come into his own and, against all odds, to find love.
We don’t speak in uncertain terms when we profess that the Irishman Brendan Muldowney is a brilliant filmmaker. His feature film LOVE ETERNAL testifies to the fact that he is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, an outstanding writer with an exceptional sense of mise-en-scène. Each of his compositions exudes a pure pictorial beauty that brings to mind the films of Terence Malick. On the other hand, his approach to genre recalls Tim Burton, what with talking corpses and a delightfully deadpan humour. Muldowney likewise excels in his meticulous and authentic account of human complexity. Even though he places sceptical characters in staggering situations, he nonetheless manages to tell a heart-rending story of universal resonance. In spite of its macabre theme, LOVE ETERNAL is first and foremost an ode to life and to the bonds that unite us. A major discovery in this year’s selection at Fantasia, this film will go straight to your heart and carry you away with a surge of hope.
— Simon Laperrière