At the outset of this project, I thought I was going to be making a film about intimacy in the dark, the power of community in the face of adversity, the sun coming up after the storm, and rebirth. I wanted to throw a sensorial party for the audience, invite them to, just like our characters, find beauty in the darkest of times.But this film, by design, was a complete surprise, improvised by the actors, who drew inspiration from the world around them. No one was as surprised as I when I ended up making an emblematic Resistance film. An anthem of love, tolerance and hope; a ray of light amidst the dark times we’re living in.
The first moment I realized this was when I heard Zoey (Leah Henoch), the protagonist, say the following improvised words during a pivotal scene: “It took me years to realize that what he was doing was not OK and it was not normal; and that he was basically raping me over and over again and that I had to do something, or say something.” The minute she said that, all I could think of was Trump and the damage he is doing to us as a nation, as people and as members of the global human race, and how it is our responsibility to stop him.Another mind-blowing coincidence happened the day the travel ban was announced. We shot the scene in which the protagonists give shelter to a couple of foreigners who got stuck outside in the middle of the storm. They welcome them into their home, dry them, feed them, and lend them clothes to keep them warm. When “the wall talk” came up on the news again, I caught myself literally shooting through an invisible wall, in a scene where the leads go check on their elderly neighbors and end up inviting them along as well.
There was also the time when the protagonists feast over a banquet a neighbor generously brings over, and I found myself asking everyone to reproduce Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, as I realized they all looked like apostles and other-timely prophets in their robes, blankets and scarves. That idea had never crossed my mind before, and yet I saw it clearly on the day. Perhaps whatever Higher Truth I was channeling wanted me to show there’s a traitor amongst us, hiding in plain sight?And so I hope this movie affects viewers the way it affected all of us who made it: Unpredictably, powerfully, and irrevocably, revealing a story we could’ve never imagined and yet so clearly manifested, perhaps because we were open to see the truth that so desperately wanted to come out.
- Daniela De Carlo