The Official Webzine of the Fantasia International Film Festival
“THEY CALL THEM WITNESSES BECAUSE THEY’VE SEEN THINGS”
An interview with Jennifer Chambers Lynch of Chained and Despite the Gods
In addition to Despite The Gods, your newest film Chained is also screening at Fantasia (there are no advance screeners so I haven’t been able to watch it), but again, as with Surveillance, you have a child at the center of the story, watching horrible things happen – although this time, they are more overtly complicit. With many of your films do you think you are trying to explore the different ways we can negotiate abusive situations, especially from a young age?
I am a firm believer that child abuse and or neglect leads to great damage. We are building monsters. I am investigating the damage done to children and the repercussive effects of that behavior. I want to entertain sure, but also to create a dialogue about abuse and why it is such a cycle. There is no excuse for bad behavior or violent behavior… but there is an explanation, if we look for it.
There are many true-crime stories in which a serial killer tries to recruit a protégé , often a younger family member – why do you think they want that? Are they looking for emotional reinforcement? The power to corrupt another person? Or just company?
I can only speak about the characters in Chained… ultimately, there is a combination of a need for companionship, a need to recreate their own childhood, and to somehow exorcise the demons moving like breath inside them.
This is just a practical question, but you again returned to Saskatchewan to shoot, and employed some of the same local actors (as well as re-casting Julia Ormond). What was the appeal of shooting in Saskatchewan again?
I adore Saskatchewan. The worst news I have heard since losing Hisss to the producers, was that Saskatchewan’s tax credit was cut. Some of the finest crews and human beings make films and live there. It is one of the most creative environments there is, and I hope the tax credit comes back asap. It was a terrible mistake to lose it.