Echo portrays a mysteriously frozen world, consisting of empty landscapes, lonely trees, mythological creatures and an abandoned home. A world which, at first glance, seems similar to the world we all share together – yet feels uncanny. There is never a human in sight. However, you can’t shake the thought that you feel a presence. It’s breathing down your neck. Shadowing you wherever you go. The laws of nature don’t apply here. There are other forces. Bigger. And they rule mercilessly.
Told in a poetic yet confronting manner, Echo bridges the gap between ones disconnected inner- and outside world. More specifically, the inner world of the director herself. Working her cherished combination of nature and film enabled her to finally begin to open up, acknowledge, and study the very parts of herself she fought to deny for years. These reflections resulted in Echo: a rare and vulnerable insight into her psyche. It allows the audience to take a deep dive into the overwhelmingly complex aftermath of trauma caused by sexual abuse.
Understanding, let alone communicating, trauma feels impossible. Echo uses a metaphorical approach and found her language in Japanese mythology. Mythological spirits, are known as ‘yokai’ and believed to shape-shift themselves into natural phenomena of our world. Their unique ability to roam both the ‘hidden’ ghost- and ‘real’ outer world, bridge the communication gap and expose the hidden dimensions of trauma: through landscapes and animals. Thus creating a world tangible enough to then finally be put into words. The raw and poignant voice-over, voiced by the director herself, starts the much needed dialogue that up until now stayed suppressed and unspoken.
Directed by Lieke Bezemer (Netherlands)