A reserved practical nurse moonlights as an Uber driver only to encapsulate his female passengers' scent. Then in his dreams, he reaches orgasm using the fragrance until one night he witnesses a rape happening outside his apartment...
Year of production 2022 Length 23min CountryGermany/Iran Shooting Format Digital 4K Aspect Ratio4:3 - 1:2 Dialogue German DirectorFarhad Delaram Producer Ilhan Shah Writer Farhad Delaram Cinematographer Tobias Kaufmann Editor Sasan Khoshniat Sound Designer Amir Hossein Ghassemi Set & Costume Design Katharina Januschewski Music Mehrdad Jafari Raad Script Supervisor Afsun Moshiri Storyboard Faeze Nekounam Production Managers Jan Eilhardt, Santiago Gomez Rojas CastMaximillian Brauer, Lou Strenger, Franziska Benkel
Festival selections FECIBogotá - International Independent Film Fair of Bogotá 2022, Colombia - World Premiere Tirana Film Festival 2022, Albania Visioni Corte Film Festival 2022, Italy Sedicicorto International Film Festival 2022, Italy Still Voices Short Film Festival 2022, Ireland Sanfici - Santander Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente 2023, Colombia
Director's Statement We live in a world where social media bombard us every day and every moment with horrible news: war, injustice and assault. We observe from a distance and then salve our conscience by pushing a like button or reposting it, like our main character, who only watches the rape happening in front of his house. He has become so indifferent to his surroundings and people’s feelings that, even subconsciously, he enjoys the rape. In the end, the only thing he can do is to throw a glass into the window, like a person sitting at the personal computer pushing a like bottom on rape news. It is challenging to write about what I was trying to make a film about because where words are incapable of expressing emotion, art manifests itself. The short film “Sillage: Portrait of an Onlooker” is about indifferent observing that has turned us into powerless creatures. In this film, I have tried to portray an antisocial apathetic man who lives in a bubble. He steals scents of women against their will and sleeps with them. At first, it may seem that he does not harm anyone; he is not the one who assaults women. By being a mere observer, the character does not have a direct negative impact on society but a more indirect and lasting one. The word Sillage comes from a French word for “wake” and can best be described as how a fragrance diffuses behind the wearer, just like the trace of the character’s body on the ground at the end of the film. As for the form, I tried to use the camera and sound so that the audience, like a voyeur, can immerse themselves in the character’s life and gradually get to judge him. But at the end of this film, I aim this judgment towards the audience with the moment I break the fourth wall. On the other hand, I tried not to make a big difference in the Mise-en-scène, colour and light of the dream and reality sequences. Instead, I portrayed the difference by changing the aspect ratio. In the film’s final sequence, I eliminate this difference and reach unity between dream and reality by introducing a third aspect.