The fire that left 23-year-old Franky (Vicky Knight, giving a fierce, powerful performance) burned happened 15 years ago. But she still carries those physical and emotional scars, which both gives her cover to put up walls between herself and people who love her and provides her with a drive for justice. Working as a nurse in the same hospital where her life was saved, Franky is beloved by her patients—including Florence (Esme Creed-Miles), who is there recuperating from a suicide attempt. The two women fall in love, news that is not well received at home for Franky. So, the pair run away to the more welcoming environment of Florence’s patchwork family. But Florence’s erratic behavior and Franky’s deep anger make for a combustible relationship.
Building off the work they did together in their previous film, Dirty God, writer-director Sacha Polak and star Knight train a sharp observational eye on young, working-class British women; together they create intensely felt and authentic portraits of two wounded souls. Stylistically calling to mind classic British kitchen-sink realism, Silver Haze captures a working-class England that reflects the women at the heart of the film: raw and unvarnished, but beautifully poetic.––Jason Gutierrez