And now, I am faced with a dilemma: Should I explain the reasons that led me to write this story or shall I let movie-goers interpret for themselves?
Since you are reading these sentences, It’s obvious I don’t want to take any risks. But straight away another challenge presents itself to me: HOW can I explain the reasons that led me to choose this story over another, this protagonist instead of another, these settings instead of others…
Let’s start by saying that this short film was conceived and shot during the most acute phase of COVID-SARS 2, the severest phase of the greatest global event that my generation has experienced.
Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of news items and opinions that have spun (and continue to spin endlessly) around the topic, I felt compelled to allude in my work to the enormous transformation that has taken place within us.
I was inspired by the need to try express in a different way, what Covid and quarantine were doing to our lives without having to use the word “Covid”.
And this is why this story has an ageing protagonist, reflecting how I felt old when, locked in the house and prevented from living normally, I wondered what kind of story I wanted to tell. Coleman is fighting against his demons; an old man at the mercy of his madness and his fears, he finds himself wandering through the city of London in 1919, accompanied by the ghost of his deceased wife, and a still lingering Spanish Flu.
This is also the reason for the title IN-FLU-ENZA, taken from a lullaby that English children sang during that time to chase away fears, and here revived by the presenter of the Cabaret show. Both a pun and a warning, the title reminds us that we must always be careful about what’s influencing us.
And this is how I now view IN-FLU-EN-ZA: as a memory of a past /present time that continues to cast its shadow but which I can now, thanks to the film, cast out.