Written and Directed by Skip Shea
Starring Sean Carmichael, David Graziano, Beatrice Di Giovanni, Aurora Grabill
Indie Film Review by Hannah Sayer
Skip Shea’s feature length debut is a deeply personal story. Trinity is based on an event that
happened in Shea’s life when he ran into the priest who had abused him when he was a child who was now working in a local bookstore. This random encounter triggered a dissociative experience and Trinity explores the devastating impact this trauma and abuse of power can have within a brilliantly conceived and surreal narrative.
The film follows Michael, played by Sean Carmichael, who is an artist. It is evident from the opening alone that this is an extremely personal film as Michael reflects on winter being a time to embrace the past and be consumed by it. He has a chance encounter with the priest, played by David Graziano, at his sister’s coffee shop. This meeting is extremely triggering for Michael and his mind begins to think up terrifying and surreal images which leads the real to be blended with the surreal in an eerie and unsettling way.
The use of colour in the film is particularly interesting. Parts are filmed in black and white while others are in colour yet are drained and unsaturated, giving the film a bleak aesthetic which mirrors the narrative unfolding. This mix of colour and black and white imagery adds to the experimental quality of the film.
It is reinforced that this is a deeply personal account when Michael directly addresses the camera, as if the viewer has been granted access to the inner workings of his psyche. The repetition of moments and images in the film is disorientating and adds to the heightened sense of reality evoked. This is also explored through the effective use of flashback and the haunting music which is used to great effect to heighten moments of intensity, especially when paired with the surreal imagery on screen.
The narrative is intricately constructed. The visual imagery stands out from the narrative, which is slightly muddled, as if to reflect Michael’s own mind after this triggering experience. This is not an easy watch but a rewarding one. This is a complex exploration of Michael’s psyche which feels poetic at times.
Trinity carries a powerful and important message about reflecting on the past and how to move forward. With a stand out central performance from Sean Carmichael, this is a deeply reflective and profound piece of work.
Watch the official movie trailer for Trinity below.