London based Belgian-Congolese photographer and filmmaker Olivia Lifungula finds melancholic visions and rhythm in explaining the layers of love and obsession in this short experimental, poetic film. Leading its way is an inspiration by Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali
The river wears its skin of light. And I traced love's loss to the origin of light.
Lifungula << At Dawn You Leave is the most intimate project I’ve ever worked and because I had to allow myself to be vulnerable in my work and draw inspirations from my own experiences. While working on the project, I almost felt like I was talking about love on a surface level because I’m not sure I have even experienced it. So, it felt natural to me to feature some of my best friends in the film and hear their experiences which often feel more valid than mine.
Listening to other people talk about their own experiences with love and ultimately heartbreak helped me validate my own feelings and gave me hope.
Visually, we worked in 2 segments for the entire project, for the lighter and much happier love and infatuation part we drew inspirations from different renaissance art and their softer colours palettes as well as the richness in details and layers, we wanted the whole thing to be drastically soft.
For the second part about heartbreak, obsession and unrequited love, we have been super intrigued by some of Frida Kahlo paintings about her toxic relationship with her husband Diego Rivera, without trying to recreate any of her paintings we were very intentional about the vibrant colours we used as well as the face painting which were definitely inspired by Frida ‘s elf-Portrait as Tehuana (1943) which is often referred to as Diego on my mind.
Everything from the casting to the clothes and the music featured was very intentional and therefore
therapeutic, whether my own experience could be called love or not it was dreamy, short, intense
and real to me, I wanted At Dawn You Leave to feel just like that. >>