HUMMING IN THE DARK (2021)
Humming in the Dark was my graduation film from the Willem de Kooning, Audiovisual Design class of 2021. It wouldn't have been a real graduation film if we hadn't had the limited means to do it: no budget, no time (2,5 days), limited equipment, but a huge and very talented and enthusiastic cast and crew who worked hard to make it happen.
Pain and trauma haunt Blanca as she grows up into an adult woman. In an enchanting audiovisual dance story through nature, she tries to escape reality by fleeing into her fantasy world. There, she gets confronted with both her fears and desires..
This film was made differently than most films. Instead of me writing a story and looking for a cast to act in it, the story found me. I wanted to do something with trauma, dance and nature, and I was looking for a true story of someone to film. I wanted that person to play in the film so that the film could be the key part in the process of coping with that person's trauma. That is how Blanca came to me, who wanted to share her story with me and who performs the main role in her own story.
During the conversations with Blanca, we came across her coping process. Her reaction to the confrontation with the trauma and reality was an urge to avoid that reality by fleeing into a fantasy world. The desire to still be an uninhibited, carefree child was a constant struggle.
That's how I stumbled on escapism: the urge to escape from reality by fleeing into a fantasy world. We all do this from time to time; we watch TV, book holidays, party every weekend, to break through our daily routine. But after a traumatic event, escaping into fantasy can sometimes feel safer than acknowledging reality.
I found escapism so interesting because many of the things I do are actually ways of stepping out of reality. Escapism is often seen as something negative, simply a way to find distraction or escape from everyday life and forget about daily obligations. But every time you go to a fantasy world, you are dreaming. When you write a book, watch a beautiful film, create art or lose yourself in music or a good story. You enter a world of freedom, creativity, infinite space and possibilities of the mind and no limits. Fantasy is where you can create new worlds and change reality. And like Blanca's process, I saw that this 'flight into fantasy' was actually a necessary element for healing.
This experimental film takes you into Blanca's flight into fantasy. A story about trauma, loss, pain, fear and dreams, in search of accepting reality, reconnecting and the healing journey that envelops that process. The film brought together many people in a short time who each connected to the story in a personal way, making the making of it in itself feel very special. I would like to invite you to join me on this journey and step out of reality together.