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average rating is 4 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

May 24, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Dan Horrigan
Written by:
Dan Horrigan
Tim Klotz Davenport, Lee Bane

Seine is a poignant and poetic look at vagrancy, dignity and humanity that aims to redefine how viewers consider homelessness and the people who end up trapped in the cycle. It’s a genuine and authentic short that is sure to leave an impression, thanks to inspired structuring and powerful performances from its lead.


An ex-taxi driver (Tim Klotz Davenport) who ended up living on the streets of London recounts a meeting that changed his life. Now working as a debt collector, he looks back on a friendship he briefly formed with another homeless man (Lee Bane) who has since passed. Left with questions and recollections, he tries to make sense of a harsh and uncaring world that makes kindness and openness a choice, and how people can find dignity even in degrading circumstances.


Dan Horrigan sets lofty ambitions with Seine. Set in monochrome and overlayed with a haunting monologue in a Scottish accent, the film could easily drift into a stagey and overly serious self-parody in attempts to tug on heartstrings. But Horrigan’s emotional, intelligent script, and Tim Klotz Davenport’s considered, authentic delivery means that the heart of the film pulls out. The reliable, tested tropes employed serve their purpose in this sense rather than taking over the film, highlighting the central themes of friendship and common humanity rather than overshadowing them.


Told in a dreamy, floating state in which viewers are left to speculate timing and truth, audiences are absorbed into the protagonists’ troubled existence in an overbearing, ominous London. Wracked by guilt and insecurity, the film feels like a confession of sins, a desperate plea for penance of a man who made a choice that might have saved his life, but that many others never get the chance to take. The narrative excels in capturing this unusual experience and equating the end and beginning of the man’s story, making for both a fascinating character study and a tragic gritty chronological look at the complexities of homelessness.


Davenport’s performance in the lead role is exceptional. Underneath a hardened, harsh shell, lifelong wounds and traumas seem to seep out of his weary eyes. The film’s closing shot is truly affecting, simple yet destined to drag the tears from viewers as a precision-strike summarisation of the film’s examination of just what dignity means. Lee Bane similarly lands his role as a mysterious fellow vagrant, leaving breadcrumbs for both the protagonist and viewer to contemplate.


The film isn’t perfect, with a score that grows a little repetitive, and the stagey-ness does feel a little ‘amateur theatre production’ in moments such as the shaving scenes, which feel like they do not land with the intended impact. Yet these don’t undermine the brilliant emotional construction or break immersion in the story. Horrigan has made something truly moving with Seine, a film that will leave a mark of its audience and shines a genuinely thoughtful, uncompromising light on homelessness.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film, Indie Feature Film
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