Johanna and Thomas go to the countryside. They don’t have much to talk about. But when a stranger shows up, their silence breaks. Suddenly everything's on the cards.
“STUMM VOR SCHRECK is based on my short film JESSAS from 2016. I was in the final round of applications for the directing course at the Film Academy Vienna. Michael Haneke set a final film task for the remaining applicants. The sentence ‘My God, just believe me’ was to be the theme of the short film. So I opened the Bible, and the idea of the Immaculate Conception captivated me. In the end, it wasn’t enough for a place at the Film Academy in Vienna. However, Haneke’s feedback that the material could be something for a longer film still resonated with me four years later.
In 2020, in just under four days of shooting in a Bavarian village, without a script and with two actors improvising, I made my first film STUMM VOR SCHRECK. Johanna and Thomas have a relationship that is not all that rare. They don’t talk, silent conflicts in everyday life, intrigues and lies from their common past determine the present. Everyone would like harmony, but many avoid an honest exchange of words. I put this apparent harmony to the test between my two protagonists – in the end they either go their separate ways or lead an honest relationship again. To be (happy) or not to be (happy). But nothing in between.”