This film: Hope Gap stars Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles in Netflix’s The Crown). It’s about a relationship break-up and shows the impact even on a young adult. In this case, in real life, that impact drove William Nicholson to write and direct this film decades after his own parents split up.
His story was first written as a play, The Retreat from Moscow. So William Nicholson has clearly devoted a significant part of his professional, creative career to processing and sharing the separation – they never divorced – of his own parents.
Fiction is often shaped by the author’s own life. It’s more rare to see the connection so explicitly portrayed to the artist’s own drama of family separation. But nearly everyone in the audience will know enough of family separation to connect sympathetically with what they see.
Around the world, we need much more than one sympathetic drama like the film: Hope Gap, to build more effective sympathy and support for separating families.