Family and heritage is haunting. No matter who we are and where we ae going, those who have populated the past will always help guide us and are staunch reminders of the strength and glory we have nestled inside us. Even those who are taken from us too soon.
Garrick Hamm, acclaimed director of short films such as Retrospective and The Man Who Married Himself takes an intimate look at one young boy’s journey to discover more about his father.
Based on the tragic true story of John White, a Tottenham Spurs footballer who was killed after being hit by lightening, The Ghost follows ripple affect his death has on his young son Rob, who never had a chance to know his father.
The short is an emotional journey and exploration into how grief can affect continue to affect, even if that sorrow isn’t direct. As Rob tries to understand who his father is, the impact of his death still sends painful waves through him and his mother.
Hamm delicately weaves innocence into the heart of the story as Rob earnestly longs for communication from his dad or tackles a loal bully. Whether it’s utilising Rob’s action figure to convey emotion or an epic singalong with some classic tunes, there’s a great sense of childhood here, adding a layer of realism, joy, and embellishing that youthful sadness. The 70s look of the film adds a brilliant aesthetic and fleshes out this truly profound story.
Emilia Fox continues to be an engaging and gifted actress, embodying the heart-break of not only losing her love to soon, but having to raise their children without him. Blighted by moments of misery and yet having strength to open herself up to her son, Fox is compeling as a mother trying to cope and be the best parent for her children.
However, it’s the young Felix Jamieson who steals the show here. As the quiet and introverted Rob, he comes into his own as he explores who his father was and why he was taken away from him. Jamieson presents a believable performance as this boy just trying gage how much of his father he carries with him, shifting through the emotion in an endearing youthful performance, layered by the grief of loss but also unknowing and understanding.
The Ghost is a poignant story about our family connection and who builds us when we are young, even those who were taken from us before we had a chance to know them. Not only this, but it is a intricate and emotional tribute to the White family – the memory of John and the legacy that Rob has continued.
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