On International Women’s Day it is a timely reminder that women have a lot to contend with. The threat of revenge porn. The prevalence of rape culture. Domestic violence and misogyny.
The Betrayal is a short film from writer and director Kamila Dydyna and looks set to break down stereotypes within the Irish film industry. The LGBT drama / thriller touches on adult themes such as sexual identity, domestic violence, and revenge porn within the story of a marriage break-up.
Bringing together a female-driven crew was polish born Kamila Dydyna’s way of addressing the problem of underrepresentation of women in the film industry.
The main cast features Mark McAuley (Vikings, Saol) and Miriam Devitt (Running Commentary, Food Fight). Kamila Dydyna, a graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting, whose award-winning directorial debut Testimony last year showed a child’s eye view of an emotional court case, takes on the challenging lead role of Nel in her new film. She doesn’t shy from facing some of the darker truths of society on screen. A male partner’s jealous and violent reactions in an unravelling relationship are the catalyst of The Betrayal’s plotline in which a new romantic possibility leads to danger.
Kamila says about the domestic violence aspect of the film, “I grew up watching my parents’ violent relationship and still know way too many people affected by it. Hearing of homophobic attacks on my own friends – from their religious leaders down to their parents – breaks my heart but also fuels my passion for storytelling. Writing, directing and acting in stories featuring gender-based violence is my way of trying to understand it, and ultimately inspire people to prevent it.
“In The Betrayal, Nel’s first reaction to an act of aggression from her husband is of course shock, but it’s also mixed with paralysing guilt and shame. There’s still such shame involved in telling anyone. It bothers me so much that it’s the victims that are ashamed, not the perps. I wanted to explore all of that and a lot more in the film. Even though in the world of The Betrayal nothing’s black and white, excusing such violent behaviour, especially as a society with collective responsibility for how men are allowed act towards women, allows gender violence be the norm.”
Each member of the crew come with their own experiences of being a woman in an imbalanced industry where it’s common to be one out of ten on film sets and in production meetings, and are quite amused to have it the other way round for once.
For Dydyna, the film is personal as it is for friends who are directly affected by these issues.
If you’d like to support The Betrayal or raise awareness for any of the issues mentioned you can visit their website.