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by Lea Andexlinger

grade: 7

Despite the complexity of its themes, The Fear of Deep Feelings by young filmmaker Lea Andexlinger is a true hymn to life with all its diverse and complex facets. At the K3 Film Festival 2023.

Accepting one’s own emotions

It would be wonderful to avoid suffering. Yet, this would preclude many other important emotions. Even the most intense joy. But are we really ready to accept all the emotions we experience and, above all, not to be afraid of them? Young filmmaker Lea Andexlinger tried to analyse this fear in her short film The Fear of Deep Feelings, presented as part of the K3 Film Festival 2023 programme.

A young woman is officially entering adulthood. By now the fears she had as a child are going away forever. Yet she has always been taught to repress her emotions. “Only weak people cry”, “you mustn’t get angry”, “you mustn’t be afraid”. But what if, from the attempt to repress fear, a much bigger and more important fear can actually arise? Often, it is only through a long and difficult journey and a new self-awareness that one is finally able to understand and accept everything one feels.

In The Fear of Deep Feelings, therefore, the story of the protagonist (played by the director herself) is told to us exclusively by a voice-over. Lea Andexlinger, for her part, has adopted a decidedly innovative and courageous directorial approach in order to stage all this. A directorial approach that gives this short film almost the form of a poem, as she herself stated. Words and images develop on two distinct levels, which, however, cannot exist one without the other.

The protagonist’s anguish is well rendered on the movie screen. Night images, monsters in the wardrobe, the protagonist alone staring at a washing machine in action. The colours green and blue often take centre stage, especially in the first part of this short and sensitive The Fear of deep Feelings. The forest, for its part, as a symbol of the unconscious and the oneiric, constantly plays a central role, to say the least. Yet, as already mentioned, there is a solution to this uneasiness. And so, little by little, colours change, smiles begin to be part of our protagonist’s days, a sort of liberating dance almost begins.

Despite the complexity of the topics, The Fear of Deep Feelings is a true hymn to life with all its diverse and complex facets. It is never easy to accept the reality around us, to accept ourselves, to be happy. Yet, at the end of the tunnel, there is (almost) always light. And so, this little and precious short film revealed first of all the great talent of the very young Lea Andexlinger, who, despite being only seventeen, already has clear ideas on how to relate to the always complex film world. And who knows how many more beautiful surprises she will have in store for us in the future!

Original title: The Fear of deep Feelings
Directed by: Lea Andexlinger
Country/year: Austria / 2023
Running time: 5’
Genre: experimental
Cast: Lea Andexlinger
Screenplay: Lea Andexlinger
Cinematography: Lea Andexlinger
Produced by: Lea Andexlinger

Info: the page of The Fear of deep Feelings on the website of the K3 Film Festival