In close proximity - translating an embodied female history in film
The core of this research stems from a desire to understand the entanglement of violence and care in intimate relationships. Désirée Pfenninger is particularly interested in relationships that are not of one's choosing, such as the family and the entanglements that live within it. She chose the physical body as the texture for her research and started from her personal story, a relationship between a mother, a doctor, and a daughter, a filmmaker who became a mother herself. This intergenerational history is marked by loss of identity after World War II, guilt, the trauma of unspoken violence against women at the end of the war, and also strong resilience and resistance. She uses the camera as a tool to film their bodies, in many different ways, to explore the scars and symptoms that history has left in the relationship. By bringing this inscription back into the fictional realm, she questions whether we can rewrite our narratives through filmmaking.
Her research of the last two years will be incorporated into the development of an auto-fictionalfeature ‘Dialogues with My Mother’ (WT). The film is about a daughter who visits her mother after becoming a mother herself. In the domestic sphere, while preparing dinner, while bathing the child, during treatments in the mother's doctor's office in the house, family patterns of hidden violence reveal themselves between the three characters. Unable to leave the place, the young mother keeps postponing her departure and slowly there is a transformation of their relationship. The research becomes the texture of the film. the filmmaker, her mother and her son are turning into characters. The work on this project is an attempt to develop a method of filmmaking based on the embodiment of a story, with the aim of allowing hidden female narratives to appear in the film images and to question methods of feature film production.
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