Second Spring, from director Andy Kelleher, chronicles the life of a woman named Kathy (Cathy Naden) after she gets diagnosed with Fronto Temporal Degeneration, which affects her behavior and ability to show empathy. Her health is declining, and against the advice of those around her, she leaves her marriage and seeks solace in a man she just recently met, Nick (Jerry Killick).

Naden has said that although FTD is rare, there is something universal about Kathy’s struggle in dealing with the aftermath of a life-altering event. Although this may be true in theory, the film doesn’t fully succeed in conveying this. Second Spring keeps the viewer at a distance. This can be seen quite literally in the cinematography, where the film is mostly made up of long shots, making the viewer feel like an onlooker into Kathy’s life rather than an intimate character study. Like Nick, we’re but fleeting strangers in Kathy’s bigger story.

Much of Kathy’s life is left to the imagination; for instance, Tim’s (Matthew Jure) relation to Kathy as her husband is unclear for half of the film. We also don’t know what she was like before her diagnosis. This may be on purpose, for us to get to know Kathy as she is now, whilst she also discovers her new identity living with FTD. Unfortunately, such ambiguity can be frustrating, as it never allows us to connect with our protagonist, which is a necessary component in a film that is trying to convey a struggle that people can relate to. 

The film is disjointed in its execution, perhaps to make the viewer feel as lost as Kathy does. Despite this, Second Spring ends with a sense of hope that Kathy will be able to find herself and her purpose again, and there is definitely something very moving about that.



CAST: Cathy Naden, Jerry Killick, Matthew Jure, Indra Ové

DIRECTOR: Andy Kelleher

WRITER: Martin Herron

SYNOPSIS: Kathy deals with a devastating diagnosis that causes her to behave irrationally and affects her ability to show empathy.