Current Affairs
Film about woman suffering from brain cancer

At the age of 75, Marlene Schranz, has just played a leading role in a tragic story, although she had second thoughts about accepting it because it is the role of an elderly woman who is dying from brain cancer. The film is based on real events which closely touched the life of the film director, Yüric Allison.

15 years ago, Yüric Allison lost his uncle to brain cancer.  He wanted the memory of his uncle to remain alive so he decided to write the script for a short film, based on his uncle’s story which reflected the various episodes he went through as a cancer patient.

“You have a woman who is in a coma and is dying of cancer and is experiencing her most precious memories because brain cancer eats away at your brain and your memories.  Your memory is your identity and what you would have passed through. Therefore it is like she is walking through a corridor and seeing her past experiences, while the cancer is eating away at them and trying to take them away from her,” said Mr Allison.

Marlene Schranz played the part of the old woman. She confesses that she had second thoughts about playing this role. “The emotions which confused me the most, and even scared me a little, were just before we started filming, just before I accepted to take the role. The situation presented in the film is so tragic and scary as well.”

This was the second time that Marlene has taken part in a film. “I was ready for the role, with long white hair which they could put into a bun. I believe that the role of older people, not only in films, is an important role in our everyday life.”

Yüric explained why there is no dialogue in the film. “Cancer affects all human beings and in fact I decided to make it as a silent film, and tell the story with visuals and just using the acting of the characters so that it can be understood by everyone.”

A central character in the film is a black figure which hugs the old woman, with the writer saying that this character can be interpreted in different ways. “In my head I wrote it as representing her young daughter as the last goodbye, but it can also represent anything you want, such as death, which is the most feedback I got, and it can also represent something which has finally come to release her from her pain.”

The production of this film was made possible through the financial help of the Malta Film Commission.

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