Keira Knightley recently brought attention to an important question that I believe many women both in and outside of the film industry have pondered at some point in their lives:
"Why do female film characters nearly always get raped?"
This is the very question that led to the creation of Auryon.
During my film degree, I began to notice a deep-seated rage within myself. For the most part, I have had a privileged life surrounded by wonderful men. So one day, in the midst of a heated discussion about rape culture, a close friend asked me where this deep anger was coming from. She said it seemed too intense not to be personal.
The question took me off guard and made me realize that a very real chunk of my anger was coming from how many movies I had to watch for my degree that involved the simultaneous depiction of naked women and violence (which in many cases was some combination of rape, sexual assault, and murder). Movies like "A Clockwork Orange" caused me physical pain to the point where I couldn't imagine the position of privilege one would have to be in - or at least the degree of sociopathic tendencies one would have to have - to be able to watch that movie without vomiting, let alone to be able to call it "art".
Often times, the violent scenes in these movies were not relevant to the topic we were discussing in class. I was devastated about the whole thing: about having to sit back and watch these violent scenes on screen - scenes that spiked my adrenaline to the point of nausea and gave me nightmares, while men in the theatre beside me were awkwardly adjusting their pants - and then calmly talk about Stanley Kubrick's use of music in the film. The guys would walk away feeling inspired and I would walk away nauseous and ready to punch the next man that looked at me the wrong way.
This question, and the anger that fuels this question, is what led to Auryon. I figured creating the film was more productive than the punching option.
The script for Auryon was written in 2016 and the film was shot in July 2017, just a few months before Ashley Judd's accusation started a landslide of conversation around Tarana Burke's #MeToo movement, a conversation that has been in the works for decades. It is a little spooky how the timeline for all of this worked out. We could not have asked for a more relevant social & political climate as we approach the release of this film.