For I Am Dead
Short film, Belgium, 2021
Writer, director, producer: Patricia Delso Lucas
Key Cast: Al Nazemian, Al Nazemian
In late-1800s Europe, Oscar, a wealthy but lonely middle-aged man who has lived a decadent, extravagant life in a chateau filled with wine, courtesans and opium, confesses love to his gardener Jude before he dies of his excesses.
Director Patricia Delso Lucas about her film :
“A period piece, 18 minutes. A dark, surreal drama. A story about unrequited love, self-acceptance and the limits of the sane mind.”
With the script of For I Am Dead, I wanted to show the personal and social struggle to accept the nature of who an individual is, when his/her desires or choices do not correspond to the majority. In this particular case, Oscar is fighting with his repressed homosexuality, but this is just one of many possible incarnations portraying this dilemma.
I chose to set the story at this moment in time, the late 1800s, with the intention to accentuate the fact that these kinds of questions, although they have progressed, are still relevant today.
Will belonging to a minority ultimately end in tragedy?
I extended this story to any situation of identity repression: Oscar being a victim of a time, an ideology, of himself; Jude being the response to him, in the form of love or hate.
Seen through the eyes of Oscar, the character of Jude embraces a duality between the kind and respectful young man he really is and the devil, the grotesque deformation Oscar projects onto him as a result of his tortured soul.
The unusual use of sound in the film, going in and out of sync at times – as well as a few jump cuts – emphasize Jude’s duality and highlight Oscar’s loss of sanity, as he is no longer able to tell what’s real and unreal. Despite his wealth and status, Oscar was never able to buy people’s minds, not even his own.
What I want to show with this film is what happens inside of a person when they are brutally denied the freedom to choose who they are, the right to define how they want to live.
In this story, Oscar finds relief from his anguish the moment he confesses his love to Jude, but he is rejected and the price he pays is death.In any case and despite the consequences, this permission to be yourself should start from within”.