27 min, 48 sec, Stereo B&W, DVD NTSC [16:9]
Adapted from a short story by Jorge Luis Borges
Cinematography & Editing Hisham Bizri, Omar Khan
Assistant Director: Laura Garófalo
Decors: Sophie Lartique
Sound: John Koczera
Music: Luciano Berio
Colorist: Peter McAuley
Direction/Scenario: Hisham Bizri
Learning of her father's suicide, Emma Zunz (Muriel Romero) embarks on a crusade to exact revenge from Aaron Lowenthall (Christian Paterne), the man responsible for her father's demise. Set within the French coastal town of Biarritz this adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges' short story follows the transformation of a quiet, introverted young woman into a calculating murderer. Awoken from her uneventful life by the news of her father's suicide, Emma must change herself in order to perform the horrific task. She will need to exist somewhere between reality and fiction as she meticulously orchestrates events that will inevitably lead her to a simple act of justice.
This adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges' Emma Zunz, shot in 1 1/2 days, used two consumer digital video cameras simultaneously shooting the same scene. One camera, placed on a tripod, captured the overall tableau of the scene with the other, hand held, probed the action and characters. This method allowed us to explore different techniques during the shooting without compromising the acting and the story. During the editing, the two camera footages were brought together to expose the psychological and emotional changes the lead character undergoes. Moving from distant shots to close ups the story unfolds first through the image and second through the omniscient narrator who often repeats, adds, and sometimes omits what the image tells us. This strategy of ellipsis and doubling heightens the psychological drama and emphasizes the idea that what is unsaid is as good a clue as what is said.