National Film Festival For Talented Youth, First Look USC, Cannes Short Film Corner

Director's statement

Director's Statement

“The Night Bell” pushes the boundaries of its genre while asking deep and resonant questions about the systems of power and bias which exist in our world. The short is inspired by “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and explores what it takes to fight for liberation in the face of oppression, examining evocative themes of solidarity and perseverance. As a director, I am passionate about exploring raw and challenging stories. Diverging from the ways in which female characters have been portrayed within the genre in the past, main character, Alice is a complete human being. She is fiercely independent and dreams of escaping her constrained life. When pathologist Dr. Lauchlan tries to ensnare her with the ghosts of his morgue, her fight for independence becomes a fight for survival. From working with our incredibly versatile cast to diving deep into the world and texture of the film with the crew, bringing “The Night Bell” to life was as thrilling as the film itself.

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National Film Festival For Talented Youth, First Look USC, Cannes Short Film Corner

Although most women return to a domesticated role after the war, Alice leaves her town and an oppressive marriage in favor of a new life. She gets a job as a morgue attendant under Dr. Lauchlan. Over the course of several weeks, Alice develops frightful hallucinations of the female corpses in the morgue coming to life. Alice hears women groaning and sees bodies creeping in the hallways. She ties bells to the ankles of the corpses to prove to herself that they are alive. Alice discovers that Lauchlan has been spiking her coffee with opium and the corpses lead Alice to discover that Dr. Lauchlan has been sexually assaulting the dead women’s bodies. Lauchlan and the other male doctors label her as hysterical, and force electric shock therapy on her to erase her memory of his crimes. After a final clash with Lauchlan, Alice manages to open the body drawers and free the corpses. She and the liberated dead women walk out of the morgue into the moonlight together.

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