“I hope that the film can inspire more dialogue about consent and power”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY BFI FLARE
Describe your film in three words!
Longing. Power. Belonging.
Could you tell me a little about your background as a filmmaker? What inspired you to get into film?
I have made films since before we got a television at home when I was 12. As a child I said I was going to become a filmmaker. And a carpenter. And a cobbler. I have always used filmmaking as a way to understand and learn about the world, and I still do and love it now. The carpeting I am still working on but my shoes I am pretty happy to buy in the shop.
Could you tell me a little bit about your film?
It is a personal film where I use my own experiences of power dynamics in my own relationships to explore the paradox in passion – how do we take responsibility for our inner longing to belong without giving up parts of ourselves?
In the film, I look for strategies to heal from a destructive relationship through both Christian rituals and BDSM practice. By getting to know different people who practice and by exploring it myself, I try to find ways in which we as humans can face our own darkness – our wounds, desires and needs, and how we can take responsibility for them, within ourselves and towards each other.
What LGBTQI themes does it tackle?
Pretty much all the characters in the film, as well as the the majority of the film crew, belong to the LGBTQI community. The film portrays the queer BDSM scene and sex positive queer/kink communities in Stockholm, Berlin and Barcelona. It also explores issues about being queer as well as Christian.
What does a screening at BFI Flare mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I screened my “coming out film” at London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 2003 when I was still in Art School and have returned with a number of films since.
Who is your favourite LGBTQI on-screen figure, be it a director, an actor or a character?
Hard question, visibility is so important that it is hard to choose just one favoUrite. Too hard, I choose them all!
What is the importance of LGBTQI representation onscreen? What do you think the industry could do to improve positive representation?
As one of the characters in my film says “if you have no stories you are no one”, I believe that. But the importance of LGBTQI representation onscreen goes beyond the fact that we LGBTQI people need stories that mirror us. The LGBTQI community has such a valuable collective well of stories, knowledge and insights into sex, love, relationships and politics, that these stories are important for everyone.
The industry needs to understand that when they ask for different perspectives they will (in the best case scenario) get different stories, and they might not fit into the mainstream idea of what a good story, or good dramatic structure, looks like.
If you could have audiences take one message from your film, what would it be and why?
I hope that the film can inspire more dialogue about consent and power. I think it’s important to not just see power as something negative in itself, but something we need to better learn to take responsibility for. Both for the power we hold and the power we give to others. In the film I explore power through Christianity and BDSM, but power dynamics exists in all human relationships and I think if we dare to face our longing to have it as well as to give it, we will basically hurt each other less.
Finally: what do you think the future of film looks like?
It will be what we make it.
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