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Clouds, The (1989)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Over a series of industrial and rural images of Britain, a narrator tells the story of his conception and birth, weaving in a mythic history of the formation of the world and its early inhabitants.

He is conceived, and his parents move to a new town. During his mother's pregnancy, his father's decline and unreliability lead her to contemplate abortion, but discussing it with a cousin, she decides against it and his future is assured.

The earth forms and giants live upon it: traces of them are still visible in the industrial landscape and processes of today. The narrator is born in a city of his time, built upon geological formations but multicultural and industrial. Before he can separate himself from the world around him, he too is a giant, but grows to ponder where free will can come from, and the hidden world that lies within the visible world.

As office blocks are built opposite the school to which he will go, he tells us that he is weary of life even before having entered upon it, but that tomorrow he will go to the sea with his family.