“Cages”: A return to non-communication
“My film is on the fear of separation, the anguish of loss, the lack of communication in relationships,” said Belgian screenwriter-director OlivierMasset-Depasse of his competition film Cages, which he presented in Rome along with the producer and two stars.
The film by the young debut director revolves around a couple that is progressively separated by silence. She (Eve) communicates through concrete gestures but refuses to speak while he (Damien) first has a spasmodic necessity to speak until, slowly, he is no longer able to express his needs. Verging on a radical aphasia and faced with the possibility of being abandoned once and for all by Damien, Eve reacts and does everything possible to show him she can recover the gift of speech. Everything, even kidnapping…
The roles were therefore decidedly difficult ones: “She was a difficult character, to build and to play, because she oscillates between contrasting impulses, but I was attracted to her strong side, which fights to survive. That is what I focused on,” said actress Anne Coesens. Sagamore Stévenin also commented on the difficulty of portraying Damien: “I’m usually a very physical actor and not moving for most of the film was very difficult. I had to develop a kind of expressiveness that allowed the character’s inner life to emerge”.
Thus, it is, on the one hand, a story of alienation and, on the other, the “depiction of the male lack of comprehension of the female mystery,” said Stévenin, who added: “My character is like a child full of love who, however, has no sense of reality”.