Festivals - Fantasia 2020 : Time of Moulting en North American Premiere

By Mulder, 15 august 2020

An entrancing debut (made at the Baden-Württemberg film school in Ludwigsburg!) and one of the major discoveries from this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival, Sabrina Mertens’ Time of Moulting unfolds as series of beautifully planned shots; a films composed of dense, domestic still lives, intricate tableaux vivants – all beautifully rendered in earthy, amber hues – which slowly morph into a disturbing portrait of one woman’s steady descent into darkness. A triumph of production design, of creeping dread, anticipation and meticulous mise-en-scène, it is an ambitious film: nothing less than the chronicle of the undoing of a mind, of the pain of isolation, trauma, and of the invisible mold that grabs hold of a household, from childhood and beyond.

Synopsis :
Germany in the 1970s. Stephanie is a lively child, enjoys board games, playdates with neighbours, and holidays with the family. But her life takes an increasing turn towards isolation at the hands of her absent, temperamental father and a mentally unstable, often bedridden mother trapped in world of her own making. Something is quietly rotting away under the surface of familial life, and soon, the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months, the months into years… bringing aging, clutter, decay, but no future in sight. Strange rituals abound and the outhouse – where the family keeps their boxes of memories and secrets – exerts a growing influence. So Stephanie retreats into a dark world of barbaric fantasies...

Time of Moulting (Germany)
Written and Directed by Sabrina Mertens
Starring Freya Kreutzkam, Miriam Schiweck, Zelda Espenschied, Bernd Wolf
Music by Ole Ohlendorf , Jonathan Rösch
Cinematography : Jan Fabi
Edited by Marco Rottig
Release date : January 21 2020 (Germany)
Running time : 81mns

(Source : Fantasia 2020 official website)