“One of the most terrible aspects of pain is that it digs a deep rift around those who suffer, isolating them.”
Beatrice Baldacci debuts in a feature film with a story with autobiographical overtones. The end of adolescence, the discovery of love and secrets difficult to confess coexist in an environment charged with emotions. The two protagonists meet, play at wishing each other and distance themselves with their feelings. The film, cloudy, personal and delicate in its emotional exploration, makes intimacy that lair in which to seek protection.
“The day I found out about my mother’s disease, I don’t remember talking about it for a long time. I was scared and I shut myself away. Sharing those emotions wasn’t easy, so I forced myself to suppress them and keep them away from my life. For me, the den was the safe place where I could hide.
I didn’t realize until much later that the den had become something harmful and that it only represented my fear of not being able to accept the demise. When I thought about The Den for the first time, I saw the image of a house, of a shelter within the walls. But often we don’t realize that the things we fear the most are lurking inside ourselves and there’s no wall that can protect us.
The Den is a love story between two young people divided by a huge wall: this mysterious, complicated wall is the fear of sharing their emotions, especially pain. One of the prevailing and most terrible aspects of pain is the fact that it digs a deep rift around those who suffer, isolating them. In this way, pain “encloses” them. For better or worse, in light and in shadow. The Den explores the darkness of pain, helplessness, fear and desire for solitude when facing death; but also the way in which light – our need for hope and love – weakly tries to penetrate that darkness. Light: our need for others when facing pain.
Lia is the character carrying inside her this great pain that needs to be deciphered. When writing this story, we therefore felt the need to reveal her emotions with the same difficulty the main characters face when trying to understand them.
Step by step, we slowly come near her and her mystery through Giulio. Then we find ourselves looking at things through her eyes, and gradually understanding her point of view.
Now it’s time for Lia, by means of Giulio’s emotions, to get inside her own mystery: the irrationality of pain, the relationship between love and death.
This is her personal unknown. The greatest challenge we face is succeeding in telling the two souls of this movie through the eyes of Giulio: combining suspense with psychological drama. In this particular structure, the unknown seduces and scares us, it deludes us into thinking that we can achieve the truth by silencing the emotions. The unknown this movie focuses on, instead, and the light that guides its microscopic zigzagging, are just emotions: the more we think we’ve understood the characters, the more they contradict themselves, they run away, they hide. The emotional enigma of these characters becomes thicker and thicker, more and more complex and the mystery that seems to be solved becomes more complicated instead.
Behind each frame there’s always something ambiguous like emotions, giving space to interpretation. The shades of this movie will be dark, subtle and fragile, immersed in a Nature that gets gradually disturbed by the characters’ emotions. Inside this
Nature, the den is not only a farmhouse, but an inner place; just like Giulio enters Lia’s inner pain, so nature will enter her den and death won’t be a sunset but a rebirth, an act of love.
The den is like the home base we run back to save ourselves, when we are playing hide-and-seek.
The den is a scared animal hiding in fear. The den is a safe yet narrow place, so narrow that sometimes it becomes inaccessible to others”.