Directed by Celine Rosenthal and written by Susan Cameron, inspired by real life events, a young immigrant singer’s story of moving to the other side of the world to pursue her dream and in the end discovers what true sacrifice is. Starring: Kristi Roosmaa, Helle Metjer, Ella Barborak, Jade Wheeler, Giordan Diaz, Canedy Knowles, RJ Woessner and Vanessa Thorpe.
One of the first things that needs to be acknowledged is that Wildflower puts a spotlight on female filmmakers, its lead actress Roosmaa is also a producer who co-produced with Natalie Schwan, and it’s written, directed and shot by women which is very encouraging and delightful to see.
The story is intimate and personal, it tells of the importance of family and the impression and influence that they have on us at a very young age, which nurtures your connection to them as you get older. That connection is always made difficult when you find yourself living miles and miles away from your family but it doesn’t change how much they mean to you and Wildflower does a great job of encapsulating that in a very short amount of time. The choice to have flashbacks to a younger age, a gentle and loving memory between grandmother and granddaughter, is wholesome and charming, the cinematography gives a very strong separation from past to present, the memory almost feeling dreamlike which is a nice nod to how childhood memories become more precious as we grow older, adding a nostalgic glow.
However, the sentimental side of the story is balanced well with the present day aspect of the film, particularly including a moment of rude and quite possibly, racist customers assuming that Anna is Russian rather than Estonian. It’s a brief scene but an all too relevant nod to how a lot of people unnecessarily bring assumptions or questions of a stranger’s origin into conversation. As well as dealing with how sacrifices have to be made in the pursuit of careers, and how the choices may not always be ones we want to make but sadly, have to be done.
As the film enters its final scenes, Roosmaa performs a moving rendition of Estonian folk song “Meie Elu” (which the filmmakers have gone the extra mile and made available to purchase and on Spotify), clearly the actress and producer is a triple threat because she also has a wonderful singing voice. It lovingly rounds out the film and brings the themes together in one moment, it’s a good example of a scene which invokes a silence, to simply watch it unfold, something that sounds simple but is increasingly difficult when our hands are glued to our phones and attention spans are dwindling, so it’s certainly an achievement.
Wildflower is a lovely film, it’s perfectly sentimental without becoming sickly sweet and has a universal message of the importance of family and that life can throw anything at you, we all just have to deal with it the best we can.