Light Falls Vertical


,,Light Falls Vertical is one of those rare works of art, a deeply personal, highly intimate account of a life affected by domestic violence. At the same time, it sheds light on the troubled soul of a perpetrator and not only gives him a stage, but understanding and sympathy..“
-IDFA Envision Competition Review

“Once in a while you encounter a piece of art which ticks all the boxes. Light Falls Vertical is one of those rare examples, offering a profound view into the souls of both a perpetrator and a victim of domestic abuse.”
-Business Doc Europe

“eine zutiefst persönliche und zugleich universelle essayistische Dokumentation über häusliche Gewalt” –International Cinephile Society

“an intimate record of the troubled mind, without ever being intrusive”
-Business Doc Europe

,,It will be difficult to create something this personal again, but Zymvragaki’s empathic touch is what documentary filmmaking needs when it approaches delicate subject matter like this.”
-International Cinephile Society

The film

A documentary by Efthymia Zymvragaki Co-production with GRIS MEDIO (Spain)

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2022
IDFA Envision Competition

Als die Filmemacherin Efthymia Zymvragaki als junge Erwachsene von ihrer Heimatinsel Kreta floh, hoffte sie, ihre gewalttätige Kindheit hinter sich zu lassen. Doch in Spanien werden ihre Erinnerungen wieder wach, als ein Mann sie bittet, einen Film über ihn und seine Gewalt zu drehen. Die Begegnungen mit Ernesto und seinem Alter Ego Juan, die offenen Gespräche über die von ihm begangenen Gewalttaten und die Szenen, in denen er oder Schauspieler Teile seiner Autobiografie nachspielen, geben einen nie dagewesenen Einblick in das Wesen eines Täters – in diesem Fall eines, der sich seiner selbst schmerzlich bewusst ist. Zugleich durchlebt die Filmemacherin ihre eigene Vergangenheit. Der ruhige, fast geflüsterte Kommentar und die poetischen, filmischen Aufnahmen von sonnenüberfluteten Landschaften, Details von Blumen und dem Meer, in dem Zymvragakis Vater schließlich sterben sollte, lassen Raum für eigene Betrachtungen. Neben den Auswirkungen und Ursachen von Gewalt geht es in dem Film auch um Identität und die Sehnsucht nach einem Zuhause.

,,When I left the island where I was born, it was not a departure, but an escape. Years later, I arrive on another island, a barren place that seems strangely familiar. I have come here for an encounter with a man. He says he is ready to reveal the violence he carries within him. But as I dare to move closer to the vulnerable, desperate man, I realize that he also holds the key to my deepest fears,which echo in the violence of my own past. Now his story will never be able to be separated from mine."

– Efthymia Zymvragaki, October 2022

Additional information:

Author&Director                                                                                                                                                     Efthymia Zymvragaki
Producer                                                                                                                                                    Angelo Orlando / Gris Medio
Efthymia Zymvragaki / Gris Medio
Co-Producer                                                                                                                                                     Anna M. Bofarull / KaBoGa
Patricia Sánchez Mora / Novena Nube
Valentin Thurn / ThurnFilm
Maurizio Santarelli / Eur Film
IrisLammertsma/Witfilm                                                                                                                                                        Ausführung Produzenten                                                                                                                                Babet Touw, Daan Odufré / Witfilm
Ana Maria Pelaez Rodriguez / RTVE
Jordi Ambrós Hortensi / TV3
Associated Producers                                                                                                                                     Tin Dirdamal
Cristina Haglund
Žofie Strachotová
Cinematography                                                                                                                                              Efthymia Zymvragaki
Cut                                                                                                                                                                         Tin Dirdamal
Sounddesign                                                                                                                                                    Bojan Palikuća
Music George Xylouris
Sound Anna Bofarull
Additional Sound
Pablo Cosco

Hier geht´s zum Trailer 

Related links:


IDFA Envision Competition REVIEW

Director´s Note

One day a man who signed as Ernesto contacted me and said he wanted to make a film about his life. His message was that there are always two parties to the problem of domestic violence - the victim and the perpetrator. He was the perpetrator. I was intuitively drawn to the idea, and Ernesto and I agreed that I would make a film about his story.
to make a film about his story, drawing inspiration from the autobiographical novel he had written. This agreement was only the pretext that allowed us to get closer to each other and gradually reveal the deeper motivations that attracted us to each other's stories. While working on this film, I found myself in a very delicate situation as Ernesto's intermediary, the man
who was dealing with the violence he had perpetrated against his family, the violence he said he inherited from his father from his father. At the same time, I was confronted with my own struggle, coping with the past from which I had fled two decades ago. Like Ernesto, I am also an islander. As a woman born and raised on the Greek island of Crete, my is my story is very different from Ernesto's, but what we seemed to share were the memories of our fathers fathers and the patterns of violence that prevailed in our families. Suddenly Ernesto, who was once a stranger, became a familiar figure. Alternating between the roles of victim and perpetrator, he reenacted scenes from his childhood, his mother and himself, and himself suffering at the hands of his father. Then, in other scenes directed by himself, he is already an adult who commits violent acts against his wife. Far from just condemning Ernesto, I have tried to draw parallels between our stories, to build a bridge of intimacy and understanding. This bridge is built slowly and carefully in the film, and it remains fragile, exposing our shared vulnerabilities. Through the narrative of the other, the most distant, I searched for answers in my own narrative, switching back and forth between the mirror and the magnifying glass. I allowed myself to lean on his memories of violence to navigate the stormy waters of my own memories. As the project progressed, my story grew louder and intertwined with Ernesto's until I realized that we were interdependent in the process of healing. ,,Light Falls Vertical" is a film about Ernesto and his struggle with his patterns of violence and abuse. It is also a film about his partner Juliane and her reality of the intense presence and absence of the man in her life absence of the man in her life. And finally and above all, it is a film about me and my encounter with the torment of my past,my late father, the silence that permeated our dialogue, and the circles of violence.

– Efthymia Zymvragaki, October 2022