Almost everyone will experience mental health issues at some stage in their lives, either directly or through someone they love. It’s a disease which is highly personal in the way it manifests and one which is extremely difficult to defeat. Representations of these conditions on the big screen have generally been less than impressive. However, Marie Kreutzer’s new film, The Ground Beneath My Feet, does a great job of portraying the intricacies of mental illness.
Lola (Valerie Pachner) works in a fast-moving business environment for a multinational company. As a business consultant for a range of high-profile clients she’s expected to always be ‘on’. Any sign of weakness is jumped upon, either by her male colleagues or her boss Elise (Mavie Hörbiger); who she’s having an affair with. That’s difficult given her sister Conny (Pia Hierzegger) suffers from schizophrenia and Lola finds her private life increasingly impacting on her career.
The Ground Beneath My Feet is an astutely realised drama which balances office power dynamics with the psychological impacts of mental illness. Valerie Pachner is exceptional as the lead. You can literally see the cracks forming as Lola becomes increasingly frantic. Whilst there are lots of elements bubbling under the surface, Kreutzer wisely focuses on her star. It’s a truly remarkable performance in what is an engaging, tense and ultimately rewarding film.
The Ground Beneath My Feet will be released on Digital Download by Lightbulb Film Distribution on 15 June. It will be available on iTunes, Sky Store, Virgin Media, Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and the BFI Player