On June the 1st, winner of the Grand Prix of the 45th ‘Molodist’ Talie Shilom Ezer presented her film ‘Days of Mercy’ to Ukrainian public during the ‘Sunny Bunny’ contest.
The movie tells about a love story of two girls - Lucy and Mercy. Lucy with a group of associates were protesting against the death penalty, while Mercy, by contrast, is on the other side of the barricades. It would seem that this pair has no future, but fate decides otherwise.
After a screening the director answered audience's questions and shared a story of film`s creation: ‘After my film`s screening at Sundance Film Festival in 2015, producers of the Days of Mercy film found me and asked to direct the film. Kate Mara and Ellen Page, key roles` performers, were also producers. When I was found, the script was not completed yet, it was more like a draft. It was my first time when I was working on a script that was not written by myself. Usually, when I write a script, it takes up to two years and this process is very difficult and long, so for me already ready script was kind of a gift’.
Talie Shilam Ezer admitted that she felt extremely close to Lucy after she first read the script, and the story of the main heroine reminded her of her own life. The director also added that helped the scriptwriter in writing the film and shared her own experience as a representative of the LGBT community.
Talie also described the shooting location: ‘We were filming in Cincinnati, Ohio. It`s very beautiful there and they have different types of locations. It is a very urbanized city. Last scene which was supposed to be shot on the west coast of the US, we also did there... I was in USA for 3 months. But in general, the whole process of creating the film lasted 2 years’.
‘We spent 2 weeks in Los Angeles with lead actresses Kate Mara and Ellen Page. It was very important for me to work with actresses before filming. Fortunately, they were open during the whole filming process’, -Talie Shilom Ezer admitted. – ‘It was very interesting because actresses agreed on any director's decisions, and although sometimes there were differences, we managed to create an atmosphere that completely transmitted this intimacy and emotionality of the film’.
Tali added that shooting team actually became a family during the filming and noted that her personal experience also influenced the production: she helped the scriptwriter in writing the film and was sharing her own experience as a representative of the LGBT community. According to the director, this can be seen not only in the example of dialogues, where replicas taken from real life situations appear, but also in example of intimate scenes: ‘60 people on average were in the American shooting team, but when you work on a love scene, then at the site there are at most three members of the shooting team. And in such conditions it is very easy to work. In general, all ‘such’ scenes were pre-planned and more reminiscent of a dance. Like this actresses were less worried during the filming, because they knew beforehand how, when and what exactly they need to do. Of course, it was emotionally difficult for Kate Mara and Ellen Page, but they are friends in real life, which made their task easier’.
Finally, Taley Shilom Ezer stressed that she rarely allows improvisation on a set, since she gives preference when actors add something on their rehearsals. And the ending, which remained opened in the film, is intended to allow viewer to decide themselves on fate of main characters: ‘We had another version of the last scene that was more suited to Hollywood standards, but for me, such ‘happy end’ was too unnatural and fast’.