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Weekend Daughter [William Haynes, UK, 2020]

A father is in charge of his daughter (Ada) for the weekend, and their (unspecified) time apart has clearly induced feelings of resentment, rendering their relationship uncommunicative and estranged. It is a fact of life for far too many modern families, with 42% of marriages in England and Wales ending in divorce (according to the most recent recorded statistics).

His new life has taken precedence – a new partner and a young baby of their own. Ada finds solace in indoor games, reading, and watching films on her tablet. The father hopelessly plays outdoor games (that they should be playing together) alone in the garden, as he longingly looks back up at his daughter’s bedroom window hoping she might want to join him.

Weekend Daughter (2020)

His new partner begins playing the piano, which neatly marries up with the score playing throughout, a sound that Ada is drawn to. Leaving her room, she sits down to join the woman at the piano and, in this moment, the ice is finally broken.

Weekend Daughter is a simple and effective short, wisely presented as a silent film, allowing the images and music to speak for themselves. A modern family melodrama (presumably shot during lockdown), this plays as more of an amateur experiment focused on montage and sound rather than storytelling, which is fairly conventional in its preoccupations and approach. With a low budget, and himself and family cast in the lead roles, Haynes clearly has no big screen pretensions, but in the manner of a dusty photo album, this video document may serve as a family relic for future generations to discover.


'Weekend Daughter' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2020.


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