Short Film Profile


When confident young waitress, Susan, almost chokes on a chip in the little cafe where she works, her unexpected saviour is shy outsider, Fergus, who bursts in from the street to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. In the aftermath, as a result of his heroics, Susan feels very safe with Fergus, and invites him home with her. However, the reason Fergus was there at exactly the right time to save Susan was not due to blind luck, but because he is always there. Fergus is obsessed with Susan and has been watching her for some time. He acted on instinct when he saved her life, but now that he has been accidentally drawn into her world it’s almost like he has stepped into a painting he never knew could move: he can’t cope with the full-on reality of this woman, who he was so recently stalking.

Film notes

Director’s Statement

Oddly, Breath began life as a romantic comedy. A jaunty ironic voice-over accompanied our hero as he dived in to rescue a young woman from choking. After this cute meet (“She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen”, cut to our heroine with bloodshot eyes and snot all over her chin, big laugh) I’d vaguely assumed that they’d go on to enjoy a succession of quirky adventures. However, instead, I began to obsess about why our hero was there in the first place. Then I realised... it’s because he’s always there. After that the narrative took a very different turn...

Breath deals with obsessive love and the perils of intimacy, but hopefully in a gripping fashion. The film is structured as a suspense narrative: the audience knows more than the ‘victim’ and tension rises as we slowly reveal what is really going on, creeping towards our inevitable climax.

It was important for me not to spell out our story, and ambiguity is central to the experience. It is up to the viewer to decide... what is imagination, what is reality? Who is dangerous, who is broken? I believe that films which give an audience space for their own interpretations are, ultimately, the most memorable. I hope this will be the case with Breath.




Copyright © 2010 Gavin Williams

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 30 Jan 2012