The Wall

Marc Schmidt 25'

Lydia (15) has had a rare blood disorder for years from which she has not been able to recover. The doctors make an ultimate attempt to cure her with a bone marrow transplant. Lydia has to undergo this exciting period in a closed room – behind a glass wall.

To break through her loneliness, she makes a video diary for the outside world. ‘It is five minutes to eleven in the evening and the wall has just closed. I gave my father a last hug and now I am locked in a small room of four by two metres’..

Youth documentary for zappechtgebeurd, in cooperation with NCRV. With the support of the Media Fund.

Premiere on 15 October 2016, Cinekid Amsterdam.
Read the interview with Lydia in the Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant.

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.”

Marc Schmidt – director en scenario

Marc Schmidt, Lydia Vale, Stefano Bertacchini – camera
Riekje Ziengs – editor
Michiel Hak – stagiair editor
Jasper Boeke – composer
Jeroen Goeijers – sound design
Erik Pezarro – subtitling
Rogério Lira – graphics
Xandra ter Horst – colour grading
Yolande van der Blij en Jelle Peter de Ruiter – editor in chiefs KRO-NCRV

Een jeugddocumentaire van Cerutti Film, in samenwerking met KRO-NCRV.
With support of DutchMediafund. Première at Cinekid Festival, 15 oktober 2016.