Interview with Filmmaker Emer Durcan (BRUISE)

BRUISE, 15min,. Ireland, Dance
Directed by Mo O’Connell
From the outside it looks like Heather has it all, the fancy house, the good looking husband, but then the cracks begin to show. Heather is dealing with a serious situation of coercive control, domestic and sexual abuse. After a particularly harrowing incident at her house she manages to escape, she runs outside and screams but nothing comes out. She continues her journey and she faces a situation of sexual violence followed by being harassed by a stalker. She screams with all her might but yet again there is only silence. Heather drops to her knees, beaten, but then a little girl dressed as Grace O’ Malley the Pirate Queen finds her offers her hope. Grace leads Heather into a wooded area to find a group of women who have dealt with similar situations of abuse holding a candlelight vigil. They empathise with Heather, they understand what she is going through. Surrounded by the support of these women Heather faces her husband, who is now in front of her and she screams at the top of her lungs. This time the scream is deafening. It is a defiant, guttural scream. The women join in and her husband is left powerless and cowering.

Get to know Producer Emer Durcan:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Our production company won a grant to buy a new Cinema camera and cinema equipment. We wanted to do a project that would showcase Brian’s cinematography skills, and our skills as a production company. The writer Chris Watt had written Bruise, it was a finalist in the Waterford Film Festival in 2019 and it told the story through movement and dance. We thought it would be a perfect way to showcase these skills. Then we ran into problems getting funding because of the violence against women potreyed in the script. This was when my lecturer at the time suggested working with some of the services available to help women who were living in these situations. This was where my real motivation came, because as soon as I started talking to them I realised that this is a film that needs to be made in order to start conversations about domestic abuse in society.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took about 2 and a half years.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Cinematic and emotional

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I actually thought the audience gave brilliant feedback, scholarly if you wish.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Not that long ago! I was doing my Masters in Drama and Theatre and i was making Bruise at the same time. I had made a couple of short films but I had not quite lent into it yet so to speak. In August this year after doing some theatre productions and other film work I said … I want to be a film producer, this is it for me. It ended up being my thing.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Hocus Pocus!

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I love the idea of feedback, it’s really helpful and hardly ever offered if you are not a winner.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
No problem.

10. What is your favorite meal?
I am vegetarian! I love lasagne.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
We just won the first Westmeath Film Bursary, and we are making a film with a Director called Craig Moore. The film is called Barry Versus the Binman, a comedy that deals with the seriousness of loneliness and depression through the medium of movement and humour.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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