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Bella Ramsey stars in new short-horror film, “Requiem”

Olivia Barone

Anchor Staff Writer

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Bella Ramsey gave another outstanding performance in a new short-horror film, “Requiem” wherein she watches her lover burn at the stake for occult allegations. Set in 1605 during the witch trials, “Requiem” is a chilling, must-see.

The talented Emma J. Gilbertson, director of “Requiem,” graduated from the prestigious National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England. “Requiem” was Gilbertson’s graduate project and with its achievements, has set her on course for a successful career. Having won Best Postgraduate Drama at the Royal Television Society Student Awards in 2022, the film is no doubt deserving of the love it has received.

“I was really lucky to work with the most incredible cast and crew and so glad our work finally gets to be seen,” Gilbertson commented under the film’s post on YouTube.

“Requiem” wielded an undeniably talented cast with Ramsey starring as Evelyn: a young girl and daughter to the town minister, fighting for her right to love. She is helpless to her father’s demands for her to marry a male suitor for the siege on a woman’s independence during this era of witch hunts was unshakable. Any notion that a woman wanted to act on her own accord was often met by alienation from her community, accusations of witchcraft and later, execution.

But Evelyn’s fire could not be quelled. Her adoration for her lover, Mary, as played by Safia Oakley-Green, could not be suppressed and often met with her in secret. “Requiem” was proving to be a compelling queer love story utilizing the witch hunt era of the 1600s to portray the difficulty that sometimes comes with loving freely.

Taking Mary’s hand, Evelyn was forced to face her oppressors and confess their relationship. Their attempts at remaining together were to no avail as Mary was accused of bewitching Evelyn. Upon being ripped from Evelyn’s arms, Mary was burned at the stake.

Ramsey’s anguish following Mary’s death was unbridled and her performance empowering. Grief-struck, her character turned to a coven of women, cloaked in darkness. “Requiem” ends with Ramsey peering into the glow of a church she burned alongside her new companions, Mary’s resting corpse inside. Evelyn was fanning the flames of rebellion.

“Requiem” unashamedly portrayed the defeat of the two young lovers and Evelyn’s consequent empowerment. However jarring, its boldness was beautiful. The film encountered love and independence from a 16th century lens, presenting a timeless reminder to fight for what is yours while serving as a requiem for those who have already fought and lost.

If interested in this stunning yet harrowing film, “Requiem” can be found on YouTube.


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