Bernhard is in his twenties, the age of discovery. But one discovery he makes is not so welcome: that his father pays a prostitute to play the role of Lydia, his daughter and Bernhard’s sister. Unleashed, the revelation threatens to shatter the tranquil surface of family peace. What follows is an exploration of solitude, silence, intransigence, shame, sexual fantasy and guilt. With his first feature film, Austrian Sebastian Meise establishes himself firmly within the ranks of Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl through this homage to the country’s tradition of dark and tortured cinema. Honoured with a special mention for best new director at the San Sebastian Festival, Still Life probes our darkest places. Every act of revelation drives the telling of this disturbing story, where silences fill with tension and formal elegance mixes to surprising effect with human torment. Choosing ambiguity over clarity, Still Life both confounds and disturbs. And therein lies its power.