From Sudabeh Mortezai, awarded at the Giornate degli Autori of the Venice Film Festival
Joy (2018), presented at the Giornate degli Autori of the last Venice Film Festival where she won the Europa Cinemas Label award, tells the story of a Nigerian girl in Europe, from the moment she leaves her town to her years as a prostitute in Austria . new netflix may 2019.
The film is particularly noted for its emphasis on the look of women and the empowerment of its female characters. new netflix may 2019.
The second film by director Sudabeh Mortezai maintains her focus on women. The director of German origin grew up in Tehran and Vienna, and her understanding of life is evident in this film, which aims to be a celebration of Joy’s life, despite all the obstacles and misfortunes.
The strength of the film resides in the empowerment present in history, since Mortezai makes women victims of circumstances, and not of aggression.
The first scene shows a teenager participating in a ceremony before leaving Africa. The true meaning of this scene will only be revealed much later. new netflix may 2019.
After the initial credit scene, we moved to Vienna, where Joy does the street. It is the beginning of an incredible interpretation by Joy Alphonsus that will question the notions of victim and responsibility.
The filmmaker turns this story of human trafficking, and does so in a very simple way: showing that these girls know they are going to engage in prostitution. They see it as their only way to enter Europe.
The question of who is to blame for all this is left to ambiguity, and the trip to Europe is not part of this story. After arriving in Europe, Precious (Precious Mariam Sanusi), Joy’s sister, is forced to accept that they can not escape from this group until their debt is paid.
His is € 60,000. Madame, played by Angela Ekeleme, employs a mixture of superstition, manipulation and extortion to stay in control.
Does not break any rule, but of course, it is she who writes them. We see then how Joy becomes an aggressor when she is responsible for her sister; the tape acquires an additional level of depth when Joy speaks with an Austrian therapist, in scenes that reveal the coercive nature of European states.
We are facing a powerful film where temporary jumps include enough information for the viewer to fill in the gaps. new netflix may 2019.