Riffy Ahmed loves to tell stories about ‘unlikely heroes’ we don’t always see on the big screen at turning points in their lives, particularly framed around women and diaspora identities. So her choice of a film as a reinterpretation of Euripides’s Medea is not at all surprising - told from the perspective of a woman wronged and in search of revenge, the piece explores the themes of identity, roots and belonging.
Ahmed says: 'As a director I was very intrigued to take on the challenge of telling a reinterpretation of a classic piece of Greek mythology like Medea, an original play by Euripides, through a modern BIPOC gaze. I worked closely with Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, who adapted and wrote the monologue, and Shivaike Shah, producer and founder of Khameleon Productions.
The story and character of Medea are often summarised as an anti-hero who committed heinous acts in the name of revenge after being abandoned by the man she loved, Jason. But upon researching her story further, I realised how deeply layered it was, especially in terms of being a migrant who crossed oceans and made sacrifices to build a life to only be abandoned and rejected again.
As a director I love telling stories about ‘unlikely heroes’, characters who are at a turning point in their life to reveal their inner truth. It was my aim to visualise this monologue in a visceral, immersive, emotional and cinematic experience whereby Medea navigates the audience through spaces revealing her story, and emotional states of mind in a modern and relatable way. The ‘house’ is a metaphor for the structures migrants build, how they come to assimilate and set foundations and yet be told they don’t belong and fit in. Using light and darkness in this faded grandeur space I wanted to express a duality of both Medea and society’s emotional cracks and revelations to enlightenment. The wounds are where the light pours from. Rejection and heartbreak are painful things to experience, and I wanted to present Medea’s inner turmoil and pain questioning their sense of belonging and roots.'
Film Director: @riffypowerz
Adapted + Music Composed by: Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
Movement Director: @mon_jonas
Focus puller: @t_khan_fp
2nd AC: @cinesamara
Steadicam Operator: @beauxpj
Gaffer: @krunalsaadrani, @shaunwaldie
Production Designer: @mels.x
Costume Designer: @_leenamistry_
Hair + Make up Artist: Zaynah Sanusi
Make up artist: @isabellatyra_rr
Sound Recordist: @rajan1993
Sound Designer + Mixer: @yiingtzzy
Colourist: @kawolinem @washldn
Production company: @khameleonproductions
Line Producer: @sid.e
Production Assistant: @caravaitilingam
Executive Producer: Avery Willis Hoffman