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There are many things I love about Mark O’Brien’s feature film directorial debut, THE RIGHTEOUS, one of the gems I discovered at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. Not the least of which is that he chose to film this disquieting story about the past catching up to the present in exquisitely rendered black & white that underscores the shadowy nature of unresolved guilt.
O’Brien is better known as a Canadian Screen Award-winning actor (GOALIE, CITY ON A HILL, HALT AND CATCH FIRE, MARRIAGE STORY, and BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE to name a few of his credits), but for THE RIGHTEOUS he wrote the script as well as directing it, and co-starring as Aaron. That’s the mysterious stranger who shows up on the doorstep of an ex-priest (played with profound resonance by Henry Czerny) burdened with both grief over the death of his daughter, and a crisis of faith of, you’ll pardon the expression, biblical proportions.
I’ll post the full interview later, but for now, here is O’Brien waxing rhapsodic, and rightly so, about staying true to his vision of a film without color.