Alchemy of the Spirit (2022)

Director and writer Steve Balderson has created quite a story here. Aging artist Oliver (Xander Berkeley) wakes up next to his wife Evelyn (Sarah Clarke), who has died in her sleep, and refuses tot live a life without her. He keeps her body in the bathtub, filled with ice, trying to keep her looking as she did in life. At the same time, her spirit continues speaking with him for just five days before passing to whatever comes after our world. Oh yes — he’s also been given the greatest art commission of his life by his agent Alex (Mink Stole, wow!) and must continue to create art while going through the greatest change of his life.

A film of magical realism that plays with time, sound, light and color to attempt to share an emotion and mental space that is unshareable, Alchemy of the Spirit was a rough watch — I mean this in a good way — as I try to navigate the loss of my father. Life is unlike it ever was and while the common and rote moments of it never stop, the joys of it seem muted somehow, the colors much more simplistic. I hope this can change soon and that I can take these moments of art and use them to grow and change. You’ll always miss someone. But can you honor them by creating in their missing space?

Alchemy of the Spirit is now available on Prime Video and will soon launch on a number of Cable and digital platforms across North America.

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