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Nightfall

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Simon Aeby 2018 60'

A man runs along a frozen lake before dawn. Alex Darkley loves nature and being a school teacher. But his untroubled routine ends, when he discovers a mysterious drawing in the desk of one of his pupils. Alex temporarily travels to the city to clear his demented mother's apartment. Confronted with the place he grew up, he is haunted by nightmares and images he can't explain. Gradually he gravitates towards the far shores of human behaviour.

Director's statement

Female sexual abuse is the untold story of societies’s last taboo. Only very few of the victims will ever have the courage or chance to tell their story. NIGHTFALL is the haunting chronicle of Alex Darkly, a middle-aged school teacher, who tries to come to terms with traumatic events hidden in his past. He was abused by his mother, the very woman who was supposed to take care of him and protect him. Even though his ordeal went undetected for his entire childhood, it had a profound and damaging effect on his mental state. Alex Darkley’s story is fictitious, jet based on several conversations I had with victims and psychiatrists specialized in the field. According to international surveys, 8-10% of all sexual abuses are conducted by female perpetrators. A large percentage of these cases take place within the family home. Some surveys also suggest that a majority of all cases of sexual abuse aren’t even reported. But our collective unawareness of these issues does not come from a lack of data, but from a intentionally constructed wall of secrecy. Out of respect for the victims, the highly sensitive and emotive subject of the events shown in the film is treated with the greatest possible accuracy and sensitivity.