The Viennese Irene is a strong and self-confident woman who lives on Ibiza with her 18-year-old daughter Lena. The close relationship between mother and daughter is shaken when Irene’s ex-partner Paul returns to Ibiza together with his son Robert. His world career as a composer and musician is in danger. He will soon be on trial for having severely mistreated Irene. He tries to manipulate Irene with every means at his disposal in order to withdraw the charges. When he almost succeeds, Lena and Robert turn up against Paul. The conflict is inevitable.
In the midst of the apparent idyll of a Mediterranean island, this film tells the story of a trauma from the different perspectives of those involved. A psycho-thriller about the effects, repression and coming to terms with family violence, but also about the longing for love and the indomitable power of rebellion.
Written and directed by: Günter Schwaiger
Producer: Günter Schwaiger, Lukas Stepanik
Line Producer: Majo Cardona
Cinematography: David Azcano (AEC)
Music: Roland Hackl
Animation+Arte: Cristina Guisado Garcia (Artchi)
Vestuario: Esther Sancho
Sound: Miguel Rejas
Editor: Günter Schwaiger, Martin Eller
Produced by: Günter Schwaiger Filmproduktion, Extrafilm
Production coordination: Julia Mitterlehner
Service Production: Dim Dim Production S.L.
Supported by: ÖFI , ORF, Land+ Stadt Salzburg
Franziska Weisz / Irene
Alex Brendemühl / Paul
Julia Franz Richter / Lena
Dominic Marcus Singer / Robert
- Hofer Filmtage (2019, Germany)
- Würzburg IFF (2020, Germany)
- Austrian Filmfestival Israel (2020, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa)
- Austrian Film Week Kairo (2020, Egypt)
- Freistadt Heimatfilmfestival (Austria)
- Radstadt Filmfestival (Austria)
- Diagonale (2020, Austria)
- Bozen Filmfestival (2020, Italy)
- Barcelona Filmfest (2020, Spain)
- Atlantida Filmfest (2020, Spain)
- Das Filmfest Prag (2020)
- Festival de Cine Europeo de Segovia (2020, Spain)
- Ibizacinefest (2021, Spain)
Diagonale 2020 – best actress:
Julia Franz Richter
Nomination – Austrian Film Academy Awards 2021
About the Film
Family violence, intimate partner violence or violence against women are the expression of a fact: despite civilization and progress, violence perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner is an everyday occurrence for hundreds of thousands of women in Europe. In 2018, 41 women were murdered in Austria by their partners or ex-partners. That’s Western Europe’s best. Compared to Spain, for example, this was 5 times as many murder victims.
Nevertheless, there continues to be little public discussion or debate on the question. Most of society still associates this problem with the most vulnerable social groups, and immigrants. However, little consideration is given to the fact that domestic violence is subject to a much stronger taboo of silence amongst the privileged classes and therefore hardly ever reaches the public.
This is also the main reason why the film is set in Ibiza, in other words in an environment that does not at all correspond to this marginal-group cliché.
The perpetrator is an artist, one of us, a highly-educated person with no financial worries, who can afford to travel the world and live on a dream island. A person no one wants to imagine secretly acting violently against women.
He wears many faces and knows how to camouflage himself. The affected woman – self-confident and successful in everyday life – does not find her way out of the relationship of dependence out of fear and shame.
The film also describes the devastating effects of violence on the mental state of young people, the next generation. The damage done by violent experience in a young person’s personality development is on the other hand immense. Only a few are strong enough to resist. Usually pain and trauma are repressed and it is not uncommon for the model of violence to be repeated when those children grow up, as either victims or perpetrators. Each generation’s responsibility for passing on patterns of violence to the next cannot be underestimated. It is precisely here that a decisive dilemma of our civilization is revealed: we inherit violence.
The film is told from four perspectives, each telling its own story about the experience of violence, dealing with denial, repression, resistance and resignation. Each of these four reactions is connected with a search for love, and fear of rejection. All the characters are so relentlessly shaped by the violence they have suffered that they isolate themselves from each other, unable to talk about it. In this sense, the film is also an appeal to communication, the need to talk, to call a spade a spade and not to hide from violence and threat, but to look outward to seek help, the only way to break this vicious circle.
The diver inside – Der Taucher
THE DIVER INSIDE is in every respect a film about our psyche, about our lies, our silence, our fear and brutality, but also about our power to resist and our greatest desire: to be able to love for real and to experience love.