Festival 2021
Janis Rafa

LACERATE

Italy / 2020 / 16’
International Premiere

Janis Rafa
Lacerate blends elements of realism with a dreamlike, symbolic dimension,
portraying the extreme decision of a woman who turns from victim into
executioner. Inspired by the iconography of mythological and biblical paintings
such as Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, Rafa nonetheless
chooses to show the moment after the act of revenge—or self-defense—when the
dramatic climax is already over.
In a series of mises-en-scène shot only in natural light, we see a domestic setting
overrun by a pack of dogs that roam around restlessly, attacking objects and
furniture. The interior of this home is a mental space, violated and lacerated like a
body that has undergone violence. Fruit, game, and remnants of food are arranged
like still lifes, with allegorical elements evoking the precariousness of life and
the loss of innocence. It is a suspended, hostile ecosystem, where the brutality
suffered by other species is transferred by osmosis to human beings.
In the vision imagined by the artist, the hunting hounds and other dogs—which
were perhaps owned by the couple and witnessed the abusive relationship over
the years—have come back like ghosts from the past. Historically symbols of
loyalty to their master, the dogs here rebel and become the woman’s guardians,
supporting and protecting her in the process of liberation from her persecutor. It
is thus the irrational, animalistic part of the unconscious that has been unleashed,
allowing the woman to regain control over her life and save herself.
(Leonardo Bigazzi)

Technical sheet

Original Version : No dialogue.
Script : Janis Rafa.
Photography : Janis Rafa, Thodoros Mihopoulos.
Editing : Janis Rafa.
Sound : Aris Athanasopoulos.
Production : Beatrice Bulgari (Beatrice Bordone).
Distribution : Beatrice Bulgari (Fondazione In Between Art Film).
Filmography : Kala azar, 2020. Take 11: What Remains Is a Wound Disembodied, 2018. The Thin Crust of Earth, 2016. There She Blows, 2016. Untitled, 2016. Requiem to a Fatal Incident, 2015. Winter Came Early, 2015. A Sign of Prosperity to the Dreamer, 2014. Requiem to a Shipwreck, 2014. The Last Burial, 2013. Father Gravedigger, 2013. Our Dead Dogs, 2013. Exit K1, 2012. I Thought I Found You But I Was Looking on Footage of a Different Country, 2010. Dad Where Are You?, 2010.

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

Director

Janis Rafa

Festival

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