The Library Suicides

A Welsh library film! I don’t think there is a list of Welsh Library Films, but this would probably top it. It centres on twins Ana and Nan (both played by Catrin Stewart), daughters of a local writer Elena, who falls to her death. With her last words she whispers “it was Eben.” When the aforementioned Eben arrives at the national library in Aberystwyth where the twins work, to sort through Elena’s material to write her biography, the twins plot revenge.

The film takes place over one night as the story of Eben and Elena unfolds during the twin’s plan. The affable night guard Dan becomes embroiled in the mayhem also. We are repeatedly told than Ana and Nan are palindromes, but in case we missed it, “and Nan” is also an anagram of Dan Ana.

It features some nicely framed shots, but then twins wearing identical clothes, moving in sync is almost cheating cinematically for a structured image. It makes some comments on the nature of identity, memory and the role narrative plays in the construction of the self. Ultimately it’s like a long version of Hinterland, and that’s no bad thing.

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