Araceli Lemos on Faith, Mystery and Sisterhood in Locarno-Feted Debut 'Holy Emy& #3939, "Create me"; Arine Leo is on Loyal Emmy, a neoliberal tyre, on the Cone of the Faith and the Mystery of Lokarnia, and for espionage with apostolics and supper in the Loquern-f
The mystical drama Holy Emy, which was especially recognized in the films inaugural appearance at the Festival of the Aff, is due to be released this week at Thessaloniki. It is also coming at a North American premiere just days before the North-American Festival.
The Athens-set drama, which screened in Locarno's Cineasti del Presente competition, is the story of Emy, a young Filipina, played by newcomer Abigael Loma in the mystery of her strange bleeding condition and faraway mother'd healing powers.
The film is produced by Studiobauhaus and Utopie Films in association with Nevertheless Productions and Ginedo Film. TVCO is handling international sales.
When she spoke to Variety in Thessaloniki, Lemos said that she was drawn to the idea of a healer that is misunderstood and that interprets differently, as she sought inspiration for her protagonist. I think it was the main artistic reason that I was interested in the concept that you have this thing that's unambiguous and open to interpretation. Each person with their own experiences sees it differently.
Emy and her sister, Teresa, who are secretly pregnant with a Greek sailor's child, begin to explore their own identity in order to live dissent. After she is embraced by the congregants of an insular charismatic church, Emmy starts to learn the mysterious abilities and forces of her own nature. As the euphoric spirit comes to the root of the secret love of liar, he finds her inner ancestors.
They are like the two sides of a coin, and then their bodies have different destinies manifested through their different desires.
For the director, the growing divide between them propels Emy toward the fateful moment when she must decide if she's ready to sever the cord binding the sisters. I find that kind of sad, but at the same time maybe liberating, she said.
In developing the script for Holy Emy, which she co-wrote with Giulia Caruso, Lemos drew inspiration from a childhood where healers often would visit her Athens home to treat their familys ailments. I met healer who were combining Western medicine with Chinese medicine or crystals or just alternative types of medicine, and others who felt that healing would be intensified by using your faith and your psychic energy, she said.
I found that very intriguing, the idea whether it is from inside, or whether there is this energy that can heal us, and others can give us. I find that this image is a beautiful image, whose relationship they exchange is, they are their relationship.
As Lemos walked through her Athens neighborhood, the city where she has a strong Filipino community, he was greeted by scary singing on Sundays and observing the many frightened men from the walls and the streets of the church. She admitted she was in resentment, but now she began to enjoy the holiday, and now the days of her Filipino neighbors are opened.
As the development of the film progressed, Lemos was uncertain whether the community would embrace her and agree to play a part, but she was unable to trust her, as it would take time for her to grow trust, and finally, she had no shortage of willing collaborators. Many of these participants were employed in full-time jobs as live-in caretakers and cleaners, letting them go on to auditions and rehearsals to dress wardrobe fittings for audition, rehearsal and wardrobe alterations.
The director was a collaborative effort that helped through her first feature. In Thessaloniki, Lemos recalled the Sunday masses where as well as the rousing songs and testimonials, the congregants in the service would take their neighbors by the hands of their own. So you are like, Oh, I am not alone, observing, she said. We do this together.