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How did you meet Ralf?
I first met Ralf during the shooting of my graduation film It Seems To Be Loneliness But It Is Not (2012), also set in Lanzarote. We met on the street and eventually I ended up seeing him daily over three weeks doing recordings of him talking, which I then transcribed and turned into a book with the same name as the film. I was in search of loneliness, and had isolated myself for weeks, but then I met Ralf, probably the loneliest person on the island.
We were guiding each other, in a way, although to say it was a collaboration might be too much. I tried to be respectful as I felt our relationship is precious, but the most important thing was to be at eye level with him.
Is the structure of the film a reflection of Ralf’s interior state?
As my collaborator Michael Petri and I were reading theoretical texts on schizophrenia by Emil Kraepelin, we were surprised by how much it resonated with how we were working. Ralf thinks in loops, cycles and ellipses. The disillusion of narrative and the destruction of the space-time continuum both found their way into the structure as an expression of how it might feel when your thoughts don't stop and you’re isolated within them.