The Glass Wall

Marc Schmidt

Lydia has been suffering from a rare blood disease and her condition hasn't improved. The doctors will now make the ultimate attempt to cure her through bone marrow transplantation. Lydia will have to push through this frightening period in her life all alone, cut off from family and friends, behind a glass wall.

To alleviate her solitude, she makes a video log for the outside world. 'It is five to eleven at night and the wall has just been closed. I've hugged my dad one last time and now I'm locked into my two by four meter room'

In coproduction with NCRV. With the support from Dutch Media Fund.
Premiere at Cinekid Amsterdam, October 15th. 2016. Screened at Cinema Middelburg and at Lydia's school.


Marc Schmidt

During the making of this film - my first for a young audience - I tried to create a film that I would have liked to watch when I was 12 years old. To tell a story that’s relevant for this age, told in a mature way - instead of the forced playfulness or hipness that so often comes with youth films.

My aim is to depict the more elusive sides of being seriously ill. Not the medical aspects, but the mental process you have to go through when your life is at stake: the solitude that comes with the notion of being in a fundamentally different position than the rest of the world is perfectly represented by the glass wall that has to protect Lydia from all other people, including me as the director of this film. I wasn’t allowed to go inside the partition. Her recovery turned out to be a long line in which the social deprivation was more of a burden than the treatment itself. Leaving the hospital was just one of many steps, only the moment she can go to school and see her friends again, months later, she dares to believe she will be cured and have a life again.

The cooperation between Lydia and myself was one of the great gifts of this film. Not only because her camera created an access to the other side of the glass wall, but also because the most powerful scenes turned out to be filmed by her. The honesty and courage of Lydia to film even the most sensitive moments outshine my own more distant observations. Together I hope they depict the silent but nerve-breaking phase between life and death, where hope and despair are very close.