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INTERVIEW: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala on Artfully Executed Nouvelle Histoire Shocker ‘THE DEVIL’S BATH’

Following its Tribeca North American Premiere, Austrian filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala‘s (Goodnight MommyThe Lodge) latest shocker, The Devil’s Bath is all set to drop on Shudder this Friday, June 28.

This haunting exploration of the complexities of religious beliefs, mental health and the societal pressures that can drive one to the brink of madness took home this year’s Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear following its world premiere.

Based on historical court records about a shocking, hitherto unexplored chapter of European history, and starring Anja Plaschg, David Scheid, Maria Hofstätter, the film gives a voice to the invisible and unheard women of the rural past.

Taking place in 1750 Austria, The Devil’s Bath centers on a deeply religious woman named Agnes who has just married her beloved, but her mind and heart soon grow heavy as her life becomes a long list of chores and expectations. Day after day, she is increasingly trapped in a murky and lonely path leading to evil thoughts, until the possibility of committing a shocking act of violence seems like the only way out of her inner prison.

To celebrate the imminent release of this must watch, especially for fans of artfully executed genre cinema, we sat down with Severin and Fiala who revealed the reasons behind their decision to direct a film set in that specific time and location in history. They also discussed their research methods for a period of time for which there is little historical evidence of how people actually lived, before going on to explain how the film shifted from its original concept as a courtroom drama to what they call “Nouvelle Histoire”.


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