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The Survivalist review: Apocalyptic tale pulls no punches

By Simon Fallaha

A fittingly powerful finish to this year's Belfast Film Festival, Stephen Fingleton's debut feature is a brutal subversion of John Donne's No Man Is An Island.

Martin McCann's title character is a loner, living off a small plot of land in post-collapse Northern Ireland.

Photographs, a harmonica and tweeting birds are virtually his only company. That is, until two women find him, transforming both his life and the film.

What initially appears to be a grittier Cast Away In The Woods becomes an extremely human drama about being both a sole survivor and fending for others.

There's no orchestrated music, almost no fuzzy feelings and definitely no punches pulled - this edgy, apocalyptic presentation of the not-at-all great outdoors is all the richer for it.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph

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