Filmatique | Two Gates of Sleep by Alistair Banks Griffin - Watch Now on Filmatique

Two Gates of Sleep

// Presented as part of Filmatique's American Indie Series //

Exclusive Interview with Alistair Banks Griffin

Essay: Dream and Loss in Two Gates of Sleep

Spotlight on Two Gates of Sleep



Alistair Banks Griffin / US, 20110 / Cannes, AFI Fest, BFI London, CPH:PIX, Deauville, São Paulo, Taipei, Tokyo / 78'


Brothers Jack and Louis live with their ailing mother Bess somewhere on the border between Mississippi and Louisiana.  Bess' death is imminent; her boys take to the woods to hunt her a deer and spend a few final moments of intimacy with the woman who bore them.  After Bess passes, the boys embark with her coffin downriver.  Mud, insects and the humming humid landscape permeate an arduous journey to honor a woman's final request.  


Steeped in the landscape of the Southern gothic, Two Gates of Sleep is a stunning meditation on family, nature, tradition and death.  Alistair Banks Griffin's first feature premiered at Cannes' Quinzaine des réalisateurs, BFI London, Tokyo, São Paulo and CPH:PIX, where it won the New Talent Grand Prix.



"Simple and gorgeous... The handiest comparison—or maybe it's just a crutch—for describing Alistair Banks Griffin's spare brotherly drama Two Gates of Sleep is to mention its similarities to the work of Terrence Malick.  It certainly looks about as beautiful: the Mississippi-set account of two siblings hauling their mother's coffin through the wilderness to her final resting place owes plenty to expressive visuals that few first-time filmmakers dare to create… There's an animalistic element of danger lurking beneath those angry eyes, and it meshes well with the movie's spectacular appearance.  Each frame magnifies the isolated quality of Griffin's tale"

– Eric Kohn, Cannes ReviewIndiewire