RAGING GRACE, a coming-of-rage horror, follows Joy, an undocumented Filipina immigrant who is struggling to do the best she can for her daughter when she secures the perfect job; taking care of an extremely wealthy but terminal old man. The new position pays wend guarantees a roof over their heads but very soon, Joy and her daughter Grace start to realize everything is not as it seems. Something is festering beneath the surface, threatening all they have worked for. Deeply personal, British-born Filipino writer-director Paris Zarcilla’s RAGING GRACE is a nightmarish fever dream from an exciting new voice.
BIFA-nominated writer-director Zarcilla’s previous short film Pommel has screened at festivals all over the world and was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Directing at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. RAGING GRACE is his debut feature film.
RAGING GRACE was conceived in the summer of 2020. The UK was in the grip of the first wave of the pandemic that emboldened racism against Asians – this hostility would be channeled into the immigrant story of the film.
Between the walls of an east London flat, Zarcilla wrestled with memories of his childhood spent cleaning houses of the wealthy and sometimes famous with his mother and later, how as a young man, he negotiated his identity and purpose in a post-colonial country in a time of Brexit.
Zarcilla says, “I’ve struggled against these notions of being the good immigrant and the bad immigrant. For most of my life, I didn’t even have the vocabulary to understand or articulate what it meant being reduced to these categories. I’ve only begun to fully accept who I am, and I feel for the most part of my life, I’ve existed within the cracks of old white power and new white power. By the time the pandemic was in full swing, I felt a swell of rebellion that I needed to release. I was done with holding it all back. This was my coming-of-rage.”
Zarcilla continues, “It was so important to me that I could create a world where I could come to terms with my anger, but wanted to go beyond internalizing it and holding on to it – which are the very things assimilation demands. I wanted to ask the question: what could happen if we processed our rage and unleashed onto our aggressors? And then I wanted to push it further: what comes after catharsis? It was so important for me to give this dark fairy tale a happy ending. Because we deserve it. We have earned it.”
RAGING GRACE is produced by Chi Thai, a BFI Vision-award recipient, Last Conker founder, and Screen International’s Screen Star of Tomorrow. Thai says “Raging Grace was forged in the fire of anger, pain and fear that all children of the diaspora come to know. As someone who came to the UK as a Vietnamese refugee, this film is personal to me in so many ways – to be part of a film that exposes these real struggles and lived experiences has been a lifetime in the making and I can’t wait to see the conversations this film creates for our communities.”
RAGING GRACE was co-produced by Darlene Malimas (Lingua Franca), cinematography by Joel Honeywell (Ear for an Eye), music by Jon Clarke (Kissing Candice), production and costume design by Amy Addison and edited by Christopher CF Chow (Little Darlings); and stars Max Eigenmann who is featured in Verdict, the “Orizzonti” prize winning international feature film at the Venice Film Festival; Leanne Best (The Woman in Black) and David Hayman (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas); and introducing Jaeden Boadilla.
Blue Finch Films is handling worldwide sales for RAGING GRACE.
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