The Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Ireland
Your face is your identity. The first portal of communication. I had been toying with the idea of making a feature film about a young burnt woman who has to deal with her life for some time. She struggles with everything with which most young women struggle but on top of that, something horrible has happened to her.
From a dramatic point of view, I was triggered by the fact that Jade’s ex had thrown acid into her face. Never before has a film been made about this. For a person doing such a thing – which to me is inconceivable – it apparently is an act of vengeance. If you refuse to be beautiful for me, I won’t let you be beautiful for anybody. Besides, the act itself is as simple as throwing a glass of water into someone else’s face. Often, the perpetrator has no idea of the consequences his attack has on the victim. For the victim or the survivor, life will never be the same again. The last few years the number of acid attacks in London multiplied dramatically, to 465 attacks in 2017.
I didn’t want to make a depressing film, but a colourful film and tell the story from Jade’s perspective and strength. For me, it was really important that the solution was not in finding a new boyfriend, but that Jade would take control of her life and would transcend the limitations of her appearance.
DIRTY GOD is a film about a young mother who has lost her bearings after a terrible incident. In the end, however, she learns to accept herself. A woman who faces life with an incredible amount of strength and humour. In her search for love for herself and others she tries to keep going, which is not all that easy at times. What I remember is that all the women with burns I met had to find a way to deal with themselves and with their new form. Whichever path they chose and whatever the outcome, that was their journey. And what’s universal in this process, is that it’s challenging for every one of us to confront ourselves with feelings of external beauty versus inner dignity. A challenge for every woman in the world.
2019 - DIRTY GOD
2015 - ZURICH
2013 - NEW BOOBS, doc.
2012 - HEMEL
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Sacha Polak
Written by: Sacha Polak, Susanne Farrell
Produced by: Michael Elliott, Dries Phlypo, John Keville, Marleen Slot
Cinematography: Ruben Impens
Editing: Sander Vos
Production Design: Sanne Schat
Costume Design: Sara Hakkenberg, Tine Deseure
Hair & Make-up: Morten Jacobsen, Rogier Samuels, Lindelotte van der Meer
Original Score: Rutger Reinders
Sound: Oliver Pattinama, Michelle Fingleton
Main Cast: Katherine Kelly (Lisa), Eliza Brady-Girard (Rae), Rebecca Stone (Shami), Bluey Robinson (Naz), Dana Marineci (Flavia), Vicky Knight (Jade)
Visual Effects: Jan Daghelinckx
Nominations and Awards
- EFA Feature Film Selection 2019