Playtime has boarded “The Devil’s Bath,” a period psychological thriller directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, the Austrian filmmaking duo behind the critical and commercial hit “Goodnight Mommy.”
The movie reteams Franz and Fiala with Ulrich Seidl, who also produced “Goodnight Mommy.”
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Set in rural Austria in 1750, “The Devil’s Bath” stars Anja Plaschg, the up-and-coming singer and composer known as Soap & Skin. Plaschg plays Agnes, a young married woman who feels oppressed in her husband’s world which is devoid of emotions and limited to chores and expectations. A pious and highly sensitive woman, Agnes falls into a deep depression, before committing a shocking act of violence that she sees as the only way out of her inner prison.
Along with starring in “The Devil’s Bath,” Plaschg also composed the music for the film. Based on historical records, the movie is inspired by the true stories of women who attempted to end their lives by committing murders in order to escape the damnation promised to men and women who committed suicide. “The Devil’s Bath” sheds light on the plight of women whose lives during that era was defined by religious dogma and taboos.
“Goodnight Mommy” world premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2014 and represented Austria in the Oscar race. It won a flurry of laurels, including nods at the European Film Awards and National Board of Review. “Goodnight Mommy” was also remade into an English-language film released by Amazon under the same title, starring Naomi Watts.
Franz and Fiala also co-directed “Kern,” a documentary which premiered at Locarno. The filmmaking duo made their English-language debut with “The Lodge” which starred Riley Keough and Jaeden Martell. It world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019.
“The Devil’s Bath” was produced by Ulrich Seidl Filmproduktion, in co-production with Heimatfilm and Coop99 Filmproduktion.
Playtime is handling another Berlin competition film, Olivier Assayas’ “Suspended Time,” starring the key cast of his 2018 film “Non-Fiction,” Vincent Macaigne and Nora Hamzawi.
Watch the trailer for “The Devil’s Bath” below.
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