Shot on 16mm film, within the constraints of Melbourne’s ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, ‘Leave Your Body’ features the apartment where the filmmaker has spent the better part of the past ten months. However, where she sees a prison, her partner Sean sees a sanctuary. To him these five rooms are a fortress, not only protecting them from the virus, but also from the social pressure to interact with strangers. Portraying a fictitious version of himself (as well as the film’s various intruders) he defends his solitude while quietly losing touch with reality. ‘Leave Your Body’ is a celebration of isolation, but also an acknowledgement that the longer confinement continues; the harder it will be to rejoin society.
Separated from their homes and their lives, the travellers quarantined on the Lazaretta of Syros and Corfu during times of plague, must have found their confinement even more disorientating than our current lockdowns. Yet, without anything recognisable to hang on to, they found ways to cope with the isolation. In our present situation, which can seem endless at times, looking back at the pandemics and plagues of history can provide us with hope and perspective.
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