THE DEATHLESS WOMAN

By Roz MORTIMER

WONDERDOG FILMS - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2019

A Roma woman buried alive in a Polish forest in 1942 returns to haunt us revealing a history of atrocities against the Roma in Europe.
A ghost story for the 21st Century.

Festivals
& Awards

BFI London FF 2019
Experimenta
Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival 2019
OPUS BONUM
BFI London FF 2019
Experimenta
    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Experimental
    • Countries
    • UNITED KINGDOM
    • Languages
    • POLISH, HUNGARIAN, ROMANSH, ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 89 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Roz MORTIMER
    • Writer(s)
    • Roz MORTIMER
    • Producer(s)
    • Roz MORTIMER (Wonderdog Films)
    • Synopsis
    • The far right are rising again in Europe. A Roma woman buried alive in a forest in Poland during WWII returns to haunt us, uncovering a history of atrocities against the Roma in Europe. She is the Deathless Woman. Motivated by rage, she rises from her grave to draw our attention to the persecution of the Roma people from the 1940s to the neo-Nazi hate crimes of the present day.

      An urgent and mystical hybrid documentary told through an innovative approach to the supernatural, re-enactment and theatre.

      This is a ghost story for the 21st Century. A series of uncanny events lead The Seeker to a forest in Poland where she meets Zofia, a distraught elderly woman who hands her a note written in Polish that she cannot understand. Returning months later with an interpreter she hears the story of The Deathless Woman, a Roma matriarch who was buried alive in the forest by German soldiers in 1942.

      The Deathless Woman begins to haunt The Seeker, leading her and us on an other-worldly and emotionally-charged journey from the Nazi era to the present day, revealing stories of persecution and resistance that have been omitted from the history books.

      The Deathless Woman’s narrative draws us from the scene of her death to other sites of Roma persecution from the 1940s to the present day. She hovers above the Gypsy Camp at Birkenau on the night the Roma revolt against their Nazi captors. She glides under the man-made lake in Várpalota that covers the land where 118 women and children were massacred in 1945. She passes through the burnt-out house in Tatárszentgyörgy where neo-Nazis murdered a Roma family in 2009. She even crosses the border into the virtual realm and enters the digital landscapes of the Internet, encountering hate speech and Olah Action, a racist ‘shoot-em-up’ video game where in 2005 players were invited to gun down unarmed Roma as they ran through the streets.

      The film fluidly interweaves The Deathless Woman’s ghostly narration, The Seeker’s journey of discovery, fantastical re-imaginings of buried secrets reconstructed as theatrical sets, and documentary witness from survivors of historic and contemporary atrocities against the Roma in Poland and Hungary (Zofia, Józef, Judit, Erzsébet).