Looking at this year’s programme one is struck by how many films deal with some form of escape – sometimes out of need, sometimes out of strong yearning.
Maryanne Redpath: That’s true. You see breaking out, breaking away in many of our films. Many of the young protagonists follow their dreams, they are fleeing a structure – social, cultural or political – in which they feel trapped. In the 14plus opening film Electrick Children directed by Rebecca Thomas, the straight jacket is religion. The main character has been raised Mormon, very strict, very chaste. At age 15, she believes she has gotten pregnant by listening to a forbidden song. She breaks out of her family enclave and heads for Las Vegas. There, she gets together with a punk band, young people for whom music, drugs and sex are part of daily life. The girl encounters this scene with all her naiveté and faith and manages surprisingly well. She possesses an inner calm and at the same time is on a quest for herself. Step by step, she gets closer to what lies beyond the boundaries of her upbringing.
How is Las Vegas depicted?
MR: It’s loud, garish, commercial, the exact opposite of the place she comes from, where there are no music or neon lights.
Florian Weghorn: Her first association with Las Vegas is a biblical phrase: “In the beginning was the word”. She perceives the city from the perspective of a believer. She sees forests of neon signs full of words. Two worlds intersect and commonalties emerge.
MR: It is an entertaining film. It carries you along. The main character is a bearer of hope. She’s shown in a very positive light with all her problems that are perceived as challenges. She copes with the situation, undergoes a change and determines the course of her own life.