Stephanie Eidt

What was the particular challenge of shooting Sunshine Eyes? 

My special challenge was the improvisation from which everything emerged. We all just jumped into the situations with a couple of pieces of information, and then reacted spontaneously to each other. That’s how our common, very personal story emerged. Maria led us through these situations with great attention and skill, also reacting in the moment to what was happening between us actors at that moment. The starting point was clear. But what then emerged was neither planned nor foreseen.

How does it feel to act a Corona story, at the same time as living the impact of Corona in real life? 

It felt absolutely right and good to act what was affecting and engaging all of us at that time. The different stories within the series reflected the present we were living in. I was convinced of the need to tell those stories, at that exact time. That was what made this work special for me.

Should artists have their own public positions on Corona, as Volkert Bruch has done, or should they stay silent, as others have done?

Artists should always represent their own positions.

Doesn’t the viewer have the right to a little escapism?

(Yes but) we run away all the time! Every human being runs away from reality, towards illusion, and represses catastrophes to protect himself or to feel reassured, or from a lack of readiness to change things. However, our successful repression of reality leads us deeper and deeper into disaster or destruction. Virologists and researchers have always predicted what will occur during this pandemic, which has now lasted two years. We know the effects of climate change. In both cases, suppression of this information and lack of follow-through leads to an increasingly difficult situation. In Sunshine eyes, every single person touches me, Edda, the grandmother who dies from the disease, the teenagers, the nurse etc. When we witness the lives of these characters in the film, it creates empathy for each character’s fate and this could lead us to act more socially and responsibly. It is absolutely incomprehensible to me to close our eyes to this reality.

Will Corona have changed anything in the film industry once it is over? If so, what are the lessons to learn?

I have learned in both theatre and film that one can work very well and responsibly, even in this difficult situation, without endangering oneself or others. Of course I hope that after the end of the pandemic we can return to a greater freedom, lightness, and closeness.

Interview by Francesca Ferguson