The debut film by Romanian director Adina Pintilie, Touch Me Not, won first prize in the category of best films at the Berlinale prestigious festival. This expressive and powerful work earned a very controversial critical response.
The film, which is nominated by the European Film Academy (EFA) for the FIPRESCI award for the best feature debut in 2018, could be seen by Czech audiences at this year's IFF in Karlovy Vary.
The director, together with her characters, sets out on a risky journey of examining personal intimacy. On a loose boundary between reality and fiction, Touch Me Not follows the emotional development of Laura, Tomas and Christians, and a profound empathetic insight into their lives. They long for intimacy, yet fear it, while trying to overcome the existing patterns of behavior, defensive mechanisms, and taboos to break out of their bonds and finally free themselves. The main question of the film is how to love someone without losing ourselves.
Its creation, which took a similarly thorny route as is the film itself, was participated on by the PINK production company, headed by director and producer Radovan Síbrt and his life partner, producer Alžběta Karásková. The most frequent scenes were ones with nudity, which could not be shot using doubles.
"We needed actors who would be able to blend with the character. It is not about anybody being interested in intercourse between seniors as such, but the specific relationship between them that could lead to such an intimate, physical situation. It was therefore necessary for them to be real characters," said Sibrt.
The film wants to invite the viewer to deepen his or her knowledge of human nature and to reconsider his or her experiences and convictions about intimate human relationships, with special regard to deobjectivisation and personalization of human exchange, to stimulate our curiosity about another "The Other" and our ability to empathize, to put ourselves in the shoes of The Other. Time will show whether the film, which took months to prepare and only 50 days to shoot, will fulfill its task. However, in our opinion, in most cases people will take away predominantly contradictory impressions.
Touch me not (drama, Romania/Germany/Czech Republic/Bulgaria/France, 2018, 125 min)
Sceenplay, direction, editing: Adina Pintilie
Camera: George Chiper-Lillemark
Sound: Dominik Dolejší
Cast: Laura Benson, Tómas Lemarquis, Christian Bayerlein, Brit Uhlmann, Adina Pintilie and others