Producer: Marina Gumzi (NOSOROGI)
Born in 1986 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Studied at the Academy of Arts, University of Nova Gorica. Her first professional fiction / animated short Bon Appétit, La Vie! won the Best Short Film Award at the 19. Festival of Slovenian film. In 2018, she was chosen to participate at SEE Factory South East Europe 2019, a joint project for young directors curated by Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and Sarajevo Film Festival, and co-directed a short film The Right One that premiered in Cannes opening of Directors Fortnight 2019.
By combining live action, animation and various forms of experimental techniques Urška Djukić creates hybrid visual narratives and is especially focused on exploring topics of contemporary womanhood.
Shy and overly-sensitive fifteen-years-old Lucija enters the prominent Ljubljana’s Catholic high-school. If she finishes the first year according to her mother’s expectations, she will be awarded summer holidays at her aunt in Paris, a dream she has been having for many years.
Never having sung before, she is surprised to receive an invitation to join the school’s prominent girls’ chamber choir. There, she meets the second year’s most popular and charismatic girl, Ana-Marija. After an intensive singing weekend at the convent, the two become friends.
After every rehearsal, Lucija gets more and more overwhelmed by intense erotic sensations, which she can’t control. She starts fantasising about the young school priest. However, in the strict domestic regime dictated by her mother Helena, sexuality represents sin. Confused and ashamed about herself, Lucija finally shares her fantasies with Ana-Marija, who is sexually more experienced and intrepid. Ana-Marija offers Lucija to show her how to kiss.
Despite her mother’s threats about canceling her summer holidays in Paris, Lucija grows more and more rebellious. One day Helena receives a phone call about Lucija being expelled from school due to inappropriate behaviour. Lucija then makes an unexpected decision.
When I was a teenager, I had vivid sexual fantasies. I wrote texts and poems about these fantasies, but kept them a secret as I felt ashamed about my natural instincts. Even though my family isn’t strictly religious, my mother always respected Christian values and raised me as a traditional Catholic “good girl”. Later on, I came to the conclusion that Cristian values are utterly clumsy when it comes to sexuality.
A few years ago, I started researching the history of women’s sexuality. I read testimonies of old rural women from Slovenia, in which they shared the details about their intimate life and sexual practices as they lived them in the first half of the 20th century. These women dedicated their lives to house-holding, to giving birth to children and pleasuring their husbands. Sex was “one of the severest penances imposed on them by God”. Due to strict Catholic upbringing, the idea of female sexuality had been indivisibly associated with sin throughout history, and remains of this mindset are still present in our contemporary society.
In my first feature film, I will research the feelings of guilt and shame as part of a restrictive mechanism that dictates people’s behavior on a subconscious and unreflected level. I would like to shape a narration, in which the main character Lucija will question the established moral values and start searching for her own norms. She will play with constantly shifting balance between her natural instincts and appropriate formal rules of society. The central element of SHAME is the girls’ choir, a budding youth at the onset of womanhood. The sacral music performance will present a gateway for Lucija to express her often contradictory emotions.