Suffocating memories dominate the mind of a young woman living alone on a houseboat. Ruled by her own fantasies, she lingers to the sound of old cassette tapes and smoldering cigarettes, while visions drive her deeper into the trauma and guilt that threaten to burn her.

  • Luke Röber
  • Luke Röber
  • Remigia Waldmann
  • Luke Röber
  • Remigia Waldmann
    Key Cast
  • Camilla Haider
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Horror
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 8, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    100 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Luke Röber

Lukas Andreas Röber, known professionally as Luke Röber, is a German director, writer, editor, composer and occasional actor.
Born in Würzburg, he was drawn to Vienna after completing his studies in theater and German language and literature, where he will finish his master's degree in theater, film and media studies.

Röber has experience in theater and has participated in countless performances. At the same time, he has had a passion for writing since his younger years.

In addition to performed plays, he has written several short stories and a book. His first novella was awarded the Youth Literature Prize of the city of Kitzingen, Germany.

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Director Statement

Smells, sounds and other visually manifesting impressions dominate the memory of the nameless protagonist of Sati, increasingly intensify and emerge, if then, fragmentarily.
Traumatic events often cannot be placed in the chronology of everyday experiences, but remain fragmented, that is, timeless, incoherent, and nonverbal. This is precisely what I tried to portray in Sati by refusing a script that has a clear chronology. Many of the scenes, be it the search for the book, be it the "daily routine" on the boat, are self-contained and thus not bound to a specific place in the film. In the memory sequences, flashback pours into flashback, intradiegetic and extradiegetic tones are constantly mixed, which not infrequently makes ana- or prolepses briefly recognizable, and an anachrony generally prevails in the short film. This points to an undermining of a stringent progression of time and makes the film seem incoherent at times.
At the same time, the lack of real dialogue is also intentional. The film narrates primarily on the visual level and by means of sounds. On the auditory level, for example, much is already hinted at before the flashback to the night of the girlfriend's death.
Again and again one hears the dying sounds of the girlfriend or the scratching on the wood, while the protagonist in the boat and in her loneliness tries to escape the memories.
Both the sounds and the color grading represent intensifications of perception that are usually considered part of the remembering of traumatized people.
This attempt to escape from memory, to repress trauma and guilt, is finally broken by the haunting, which gives the film its supernatural tone. Sati is to be understood as a representative of the subgenre of haunted house horror. Still a rather irrelevant motif in literature in the 18th century, it has become a central theme in horror films.
In postmodern narratives, the psyche of the traumatized is to be understood as a haunted place, which can also be observed in this film. The unnamed protagonist of Sati is plagued by memories in which she is both victim and perpetrator.
The traumatic past returns -like many examples in this subgenre- to force the living to confront the pain of the past.

In Sati, this happens through fire. Cigarettes are lit, passed around and shared; books burn, candles ignite on their own and the fire which has the potential to devour everything slowly creeps up. The ambivalence of fire is also shown here. The burning of guilt that moves between potential destruction and purification, between shelter and punishment.

Sati speaks of the flames as a transition, a transformation, and of the ashes as a reference to something that has already been consumed by the past. Sati is about dependency and submissiveness, about help not being given and the feeling of being buried alive, all interwoven with the elements of magical realism.