Film: Nobody Has To Know




Nobody Has to Know is an intriguing love story set on a windswept Scottish island where the locals are hard-working, God-fearing and slow to change.

Its central character is Phil, a mystery man who wakes up from a stroke to find he has lost his memory. Phil is played by the director himself, Belgian actor Bouli Lanners, who also wrote the script.

We first meet Phil on the farm where he is vigorously hammering in fence posts. He’s in his 50s, white-bearded, a man of few words.



Next we see him lying unconscious on a deserted beach. He’s had a stroke and is air-lifted to hospital.

When he gets home he is greeted by Millie (Michelle Fairley).

He doesn’t recognise his house, the photos on the wall or even his own tattoes.

Not surprisingly, he is confused. “Who are you?” he asks Millie.

I’m Millie,” she responds. “You work on my father’s farm with my brother and nephew. I’m a friend.”

Do I have any other friends?”

Everyone knows who you are.”

Any family? Just a brother, but they are not on speaking terms.



Phil is not meant to drive after his stroke, and Millie ferries him to and from the farm, where he throws himself into the hard physical labour.

Millie is a middle-aged woman whose aloof manner has earned her the nickname of the Ice Queen. But gradually she and Phil warm to each other until one day she haltingly confides: “We were together….We were lovers.”

The film unfolds at a leisurely pace as these two lonely people discover a shared delight in a life together against a backdrop of stunning scenes of the vast and beautiful landscapes of rugged Lewis island, brilliantly captured by cinematographer Frank van den Eeden.

But both Phil and Millie have secrets – not surprising in a film titled Nobody Has To Know.



Where does Phil come from? Why did he come to the island? How did the two become lovers?

This is a tender and tranquil film, memorable for the subtle performances of Lanners and Fairley, whose characters slowly transform as love grows between them.

But the Scottish accents are sometimes hard to follow – at times you can feel you are missing a crucial piece of dialogue.

Nobody Has To Know is showing at Luna Leederville, Luna On Essex and the Windsor Cinema.



Watch the trailer…