An assured debut feature which despite its frank depiction of sexual violence never slips into the male gaze and in fact, purposely turns the tables on the long problematic trope of the femme fatale, Holiday from Swedish Writer/Director Isabella Eklöf, uses the life of glitzy excesses experienced on the Turkish Rivera by a newly minted gangster girlfriend as an indictment of ultra-liberal capitalism – where beneath the veneer of wealth and beauty lies the dark reality of a world in which violence rules and money talks. DN spoke to Isabella at the London Film Festival about our problematic attraction to power, the importance of trust when staging a rape scene and why she took the long way round to feature directing.
Young and beautiful Sascha discovers her dream life of luxury, recklessness and fun comes at a price when she is welcomed into the “family” of her drug lord boyfriend at his holiday villa in the port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riveria. Physical and psychological violence are a way of life for this gangster family, but when the velvet veneer is stripped raw to the bone, Sascha’s eye drifts towards the “normal” life she is leaving behind – is it possible she could still be accepted by polite society?
I suffered from being a woman and also difficult, I feel like you can choose one or the other.
Subscribe to the Directors Notes podcast to hear our LFF filmmaker interviews. You can also catch up on all our coverage from the London Film Festival here.