A paramedic undertakes a solo journey to an African island by sail boat. After a terrible storm she discovers a boat overfilled with immigrants. Keeping her distance she calls through an emergency distress call. But as time moves on and no help arrives she must decide what she can do and what she’s prepared to live with.
Styx is a film largely without dialogue. It slowly establishes the competence of its lead character, showing her passionately going about her work and at ease on the boat. Susanne Wolff plays her with a stern and convincing authority. Her moments of compassion are very convincing.
The film is a humanitarian plea. It’s an expose of systems that not only ignore migrants in need but punish those who try to help. It’s a story of frustration and inhumanity. The slow pacing, the relentless movement of the sea bespeaks a silence that no one is willing to break. is betrayed by all the forces she thought would respond to a basic human cry for help. It’s a film about the differing value ascribed to human life.
Styx is a slow-burn drama film with survival elements and a sincere political message. It’s a thrilling experience and a beautifully paced story.