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‘When the Light Breaks’ Review: A Maelstrom of Youthful Emotion Plays Out Between Two Sunsets

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Guy Lodge Film Critic The longest days in your life are those where a loved one dies. Exhausting waves of feeling lap each other over the hours, stretching and blurring them as disbelief gives way to panic, to fatigue, to deep and paralyzing sadness, all while practical tasks mount and accelerate.

As you struggle through forms, travel plans and an immediate onslaught of phone calls, the memory of yesterday taunts you with its nearness and distance.

How could life have been so different then? Will it ever be so ordinary again? In “When the Light Breaks,” Rúnar Rúnarsson poignantly dramatizes the vastness, smallness and strangeness of one such day, following rawly bereaved art student Una (Elín Hall) through the immediate, suffocating aftermath of her lover Diddi’s sudden passing — with spiraling emotions further confused by unresolved secrets between her and the dead.

For Una cannot openly speak of her love for Diddi (Baldur Einarsson). The two were firm friends and college bandmates, but their romantic relationship was a recent, furtive development, kept hidden from their peers and from Diddi’s long-distance girlfriend Klara (Katla Njálsdóttir).

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