Berta’s sister Helena has gone missing and there is little hope of finding her. Berta visits the morgue, where she views several bodies, each with her own tragic story. How can Helena be one of them?

Director’s Vision for ‘The Lion Blanket’

The Lion Blanket is a character-focused drama about rationalizing the unknown and dealing with tragedy.

The story explores the custom of body identification by relatives of the victim. It treats the experience of recognizing a loved one in the morgue as part of an ongoing relationship with that person, even after death. How is it possible to recognize someone in death if you didn’t really know them when they were alive? And if you are the only one who can recognize them, maybe they have a final message for you?

The main character, Berta, is a reserved and calculated woman. She is strict and unsympathetic towards her abandoned niece. The visit to the morgue also appears to be little more than an unpleasant chore for her, at least at first. Yet as the story progresses, the task of identifying a body becomes increasingly more personal. Berta is forced to remember who her sister was, and to view her weaknesses and faults in a new light. By the end of her journey, Berta begins to discover how to express care and love – values that are sorely lacking in the reality she inhabits.

The story is told through a character-centric approach, following Berta as she experiences the new spaces and people around her. The film looks for ways to reconcile rationality and fantasy, death and childhood innocence in the mind of one woman.

When deciding on the visual style of the film, we focused on depicting death not only as an element of horror, but as something mysterious. Every character Berta meets has their own interpretation of the meaning of death, be it the cold approach of the detective, spiritual view of the morgue attendant or Berta’s denial. In the end, no one can know for sure what is under the blanket.

Finally, a child proves just as capable of understanding death as the adults, only in her own way. And it is with her young niece’s help that Berta finds the closure she needs.