Radha is a 22-minute drama with horror elements. Director Nicolas Courdouan spoke to Film Ireland about the story behind the film.
Radha is an abridged version of a feature film project I have been working on for a couple of years. I really wanted to commit a shorter version to the screen not only as a promotional piece for the project but also to see if, and how well, I could translate my somewhat abstract ideas into a working narrative.
The story is primarily about the relationship between our memories and identity. I find that much of who we think we are is informed by our past, but more precisely by what we remember of our past, and it seems natural to think that a person who spent years misremembering a tragedy would have a pretty distorted sense of self as a result. The main character, Saoirse, spent her entire adolescence trying to come to terms with a past tragedy in the worst possible way: By running away from it. She is poisoned from the inside, uprooted and fragile, unable to face her true self. But she can only run away so far and her past is still haunting her. That is when she has a chance encounter with Radha, a mysterious and magnetic dancer who seems to soothe the soul of her audience through ritualistic performances. Saoirse falls for her and attempts to use Radha’s influence over her to heal from her trauma. But of course, there is a price to be paid.
The film has been described as belonging to the fantasy or supernatural horror genres but I find it more accurate to think of it in terms of cosmicism, or cosmic horror, which is a genre that pits humans against entities or forces that exceed their ability to make sense of the world, and remind them of how insignificant and helpless we all are in the grand scheme of things. Ultimately, Radha embodies the true nature of the cosmos: ever-changing, fluctuating between state, impermanent, while Saoirse is someone who seeks to arrive at a final state, to become an imago, an ultimate version of herself. As such she is a corruption, and the only peace she can ever hope to find resides in the complete annihilation of herself.
I’m really happy to be able to share Radha with the rest of the world now, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire cast and crew one more time for their work.
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” evokes the feel of a J-Horror”