TO THE BODY is an ode to resilience.

TO THE BODY is a raw and poetic manifesto of how anxiety and depression is lived in the flesh.

From the drama and thriller genre, the short film TO THE BODY tells the story of a woman around her mid 30s who is dealing secretly with anxiety and depression.

The entire film is structured in constant loops, reinforced by routine, normal scenarios, close to the single and main character, to denote how centered in her mind she is and how overwhelmingly repetitive her thoughts become.
Throughout the film, the main character shows physical symptoms, expressed by performative movements, in the search for self-improvement and healing. A call from her body, while feeling and validating every emotion that passes through it, to transcend the mind and come back to the body.

This film was made with the main objective of giving shape and body to all the emotions silenced by those people who have suffered and currently suffer from depression or anxiety.

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Director’s Vision for ‘To The Body’

To The Body was born as a translation of a prolonged personal episode of anxiety attacks, a mental illness that unfortunately has become a silent pandemic which is difficult to identify, to control and to speak freely and openly about it.

The dramatic load becomes obvious due to the theme itself, but I wanted to add resources from Thriller genre to give more sensation of vertigo, anxiety, expectation.

The use of the Loop as a resource throughout the entire film comes to mean how our mind works when we suffer from this type of mental illness. Thoughts happen non-stop one after another and we generate what is called ‘the nest mind’, which means: thinking and re-thinking (with a load of frustration) and remain always in the same place, tangled.
For this same reason, the film begins and ends in the same place, in the same shot.
Although seeking to show the space for healing and improvement when shadows are accepted and emotions are validated. We can also see this ‘healing journey’ with the use of light and movements choice during the film.
At the beginning, in the bedroom and bathroom scene, everything is pretty dark blue and her movements have a more dramatic charge, giving us a feeling of been trapped.
While she walks through the corridor she gain light till the point she finish in an open space, the rooftop, where we can see the sky. Even the sky becomes almost a new character in scene since we see more of them than the main character full body. It is also in this last scenario where she moves literally with open arms in a liberating act of release.

Several resources were added to reinforce the blurred line that is drawn between reality and imagination when we are under the effects of symptoms of depression or anxiety.
The loop, as I wrote previously, the Voice Over, which not only shows an omnipresent presence (because we never see the main actress speaking directly) but also it was generated with the help of AI, and finally the plastic bags which were also artificially generated through CGI/VFX. So… what is real and what it is not?

The plastic bags represent polluting thoughts. Sometimes light, sometimes heavy. They keep flying around like our thoughts do until we manage to release them, untangle them and they fade away.

On the other hand, the structure of the film. The entire film takes place in a single morning, in a routine, normal context, in scenarios close to the main character. Her house as her mind, her time as her thoughts.

And one last detail regarding the film’s cinematography that I would like to emphasize. TTB was filmed in anamorphic. After my Dop Jan Bormann suggested me to use this format for its cinematic aspect, it made total sense and coherence to use it since it compresses the space on the screen in terms of height versus width, which helped us keep the main character more compressed in the takes and in transitions therefore it helped us reinforce the idea of oppression and contained emotions.
For this reason we see that all the erratic performative movements occur vertically (except at the end when she falls on her back) and all the transitions are centered (she in the center of the screen composition) giving us not only coherence throughout the film but also this feeling of a caged bird.

This film was made with the main objective of giving shape and body to all the emotions silenced by those people who have suffered and currently suffer from depression or anxiety.

Feel and validate each emotion, giving us the conscious time and space to do it. Leave the mind and come back To The Body.-