Photographing Fairies is a sci fi/ fantasy film set in the early 1900’s exploring the idea behind the cottingly fairy hoax. The story is about a young photographer named Charles Castle who looses his wife soon after they are married, and of course he is lost in his grief. He goes off to war and is employed as a photographer in the trenches, and after the war he is still consumed with death as we see him cut and paste photos of dead soldiers into new photos of their loved ones for a living. One day he finds himself at a supernatural convention of sorts and comes upon a lecture of a man telling people of the cottingly photographs and supporting the existence of faeries because of them. Charles then proceeds to interrupt the man, telling him that there is no way the photos can be real, both from a photographers perspectives and as one who has lost faith with all things the eye cannot see. The character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance in the film, as he was a supporter of the photos, even though he wasn’t so supportive of them in the film. So, after attending the lecture, a woman comes to his studio and shows him some photographs that were supposedly of a real faerie standing on her daughter’s outstretched hand. Of course Charles doesn’t believe this any more than he believed the Cottingly story, but after closer inspection he finds that there is something not quite right about the photo and goes off to find the woman and ask her about it. The woman lives in the countryside with her husband, a pastor, their two daughters, and the governess for the girls. He finds the woman and tells her that he may believe her story, but she just smiles at him and tells him that the photograph doesn’t matter anymore because she has seen them. The details after this point I will not go into because that is where the real mystery lies.
Charles struggles throughout the movie with his wife’s death and cannot seem to get beyond the hold it has on him. Maybe because of this he has lost all faith in an after world or possibilities of another world within ours, until of course he goes in search of the faeries. When he does find a way to see them (whether or not he’s hallucinating is debatable) he clings to this connection ferociously and uses this to try to get in touch with his wife. At the end he is somewhat set free of this, and embarks on an adventure of sorts.
This is not a film for children, or if a child does see it, it should be monitored by a parent. There is both nudity and death in the film, and though neither appear in excess, I would say this is a 14 and up movie.