17 – 23 May, 2024

A dark but lyrical study of trauma, loneliness and thwarted sexuality. A young girl’s life is charted from living with her troubled mother to later falling in love with one of her foster carer’s former charges.

Debut director Luna Carmoon crafts a raw psychodrama and haunting study of trauma, loneliness and thwarted sexuality. Unfolding in two parts, the first shows young Maria (Lily-Beau Leach) being cared for by her troubled single mum Cynthia (Hayley Squires) as the pair bond on nightly scavenger hunts to feed Cynthia’s obsessive-compulsive hoarding. Cutting to a decade later, Maria (now played by Saura Lightfoot Leon), is living with foster mother Michelle (Samantha Spiro). The return of one of Michelle’s former charges (Stranger Things’s star Joseph Quinn) sees the young pair embark on an intense and bizarre relationship.

‘I watched Hoard in the middle of a working day and found myself immediately ensconced in its oppressive, strange, sparkly and sometimes totally foul world. The film explores how childhood trauma manifests in later life, and the unpredictability of grief. It also speaks to something raw and personal about the magic of childhood and how our perception of early life is altered through the prism of adult knowledge. Hayley Squires gives a horribly convincing performance as a fiercely loving and deeply mentally unwell mother. Her sweetly dysfunctional and at times neglectful treatment of Maria is portrayed quite sympathetically; through the eyes of young Maria, Cynthia is the best playmate, even if her excessive hoarding is unsettling and disruptive. For me, the mother/daughter relationship was the most powerful element to the film, which continued to surprise me in its unravelling, as Maria grows into a truculent teenager and develops an innapropriately intimate relationship with her foster brother Michael (played with feral intensity by Joseph Quinn). As the Youth Programme Co-Ordinator at GFT, I had many child protection concerns, but as a film lover, I really enjoyed this film’s messy humanity and gorgeous, disgusting imagery.’ – Rosa Cato, Youth Programme Coordinator at Glasgow Film Theatre.

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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