Bonaparte (3rd Place Jury Award 5-20 Minutes)

Film Archived

Helle is caught in a violent relationship. When the Corona-virus forces her to stay home, her only relief is stripped away and she now faces a decision whether or not to leave her husband - and how will he react if she does?

Director: Jesper Quistgaard
Length: 12:43
Country: Denmark
Language: Danish
Year: 2020

Additional Info

Director Statement: Bonaparte is a film made during the Corona quarantine when collective of directors, who called themselves the „The Quarantine Films“ rang me up and they asked me if I wanted to make a short film for their Facebook page where they would post a new film each day for a period of time. There were a bunch of directors who had two weeks to make a short film. At first I said „I don’t have time for that! I have a company with a lot of employees, I need to save“. But then I stopped and thought it might be pretty awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve made a fiction film and there was a story burning inside me regarding the big increase in domestic violence during quarantine. It was an untold, tabooed story that I felt was important to tell. And I saw a huge dramatic potential in making a thriller about a woman who is trying to break out of an infectious relationship which escalates during quarantine. So that’s what inspired me to make a short film about a woman who is forced into quarantine with her violent husband. Simply that. It should start with her being trapped in a violent relationship and then you are supposed to see the journey of being set free along with the psychological violence which takes place during. What was really special when making this film was that I had only 14 days to make it – no budget – and I thought it would be impossible to make the film because the biggest obstruction was that the production had to follow the health authorities’ regulations. This basically meant: If I wanted to make a movie about a married couple then I couldn’t cast two strangers to play a married couple and bring them together because they were not allowed to. Or so I thought, unless! I found a real couple who were both actors. So the challenge was to: 1. Find a couple 2. Who were actors 3. Who wanted to do it on short notice 4. Who wanted to do it for free and 5. Who wanted to let me into their home. And I succeeded. Then I wrote the script in two days. Then we planned it in three or so days and then we shot it in two days, and then we edited it in three days. So it was ready to be posted Saturday. So we started Saturday, shot it the next Saturday and delivered the Saturday after that – making it all in 14 days. From all this came something really great and I’ve learned a lot which has inspired me in future projects. So in that way, the quarantine has been good to me – at least creatively.

Producer: Jesper Quistgaard, Nicole Kjærsgaard Jensen, Abbi Moreno
Writer: Jesper Quistgaard
Cast: Louise Davidsen, Anders Gjellerup Koch

Making Of