This Little Light Of Mine
a film by Malo Sutra Fish
This film answers the question: “How does it feel to have a seizure?” as well as asking the follow-up: “How do I get to be a filmmaker as a photosensitive epileptic?”
This project took 18 years to make. And it was ready for the world just a few days prior the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020. The whole planet was about to enter a profound crisis that somehow resonated with what I was trying to share with people.
Shot in Super 8 Ektachrome and using the codes of experimental cinema, this short film evokes the 4 stages a person undergoes when having a tonic-clonic seizure, one of the most violent experiences the body inflicts on itself. This internal voyage is unconscious for the most part, and very little memories remain. However, waking up from a seizure still reeks of trauma, as scattered parts of the brain and the body try to recover.
Epilepsy is both violent for the person living it and for the people around witnessing it. Often misunderstood, there can be an ambiguous feeling of fear and shame leading to deep inner turmoil. And as in any crisis, our whole identity is shaken. But as in any crisis there is a silver lining - something to learn. The lotus grows in the thickest mud, and poetry does sometimes come from the darkest pain.
Being photosensitive means that any flickering lights or light that is too intense can trigger a seizure. Even if medication will prevent the seizure, migraines and mild spasms can occur. But does it take away talent? Does it take away meaning? Does it take away my own right to produce art? No. It takes longer.
Isn’t it what we’re all finding out right now? What to say about this constant crushing time, and the consumption of life, until it’s depleted, aren’t we all suffering from going too fast? And what is our cinema crisis revealing? How many are left out because they don’t fit the criteria? But then again, are the criteria right? Whose body is to be portrayed, and whose isn’t? Who’s in, who’s out?
Irgendwo in der tiefe
Gibst es ein licht”
Hello Earth - Kate Bush.
© Music: Yonatan Yudkovitz & Adir Dadia
© Photography: Malo Sutra Fish
"I know very little about seizures and my first question would be ‘what’s it like’? To share that feeling with others and increase understanding is really good. Your film did that for me, well done!"
"This Little Light Of Mine is a beautiful film, sharing a life experience. A vibrant film."
"Following the long tradition of Impressionist Experimental filmmaking and female cinematographers such as Maya Deren. "