STATEMENT  
Umbilical is inspired by true events. A personal story that Iā€™ve been developing for years, looking at themes of religious abuse, fanaticism and coercive control, all of which are issues close to my heart. It's a story about a Greek young woman's struggle to separate from her religious and superstitious upbringing. The focus is not on escaping physical persecution, but the psychological persecution that can come from verbal abuse and internalising harmful beliefs as a child. This is about the psychic damage that abuse can cause and the way it can be passed down through generations.This kind of abuse is all too often silent, which is why I wanted to share this story. The film depicts a subtle tragedy that behind closed doors, concealed within families. It might not be visible at first but creates very deep scars. In this particular case, the abuse was happening through the false veil of religion and care and happened on multiple levels. The mother is the victim of an abuser that used religion to brainwash and extort the family. As always, such abuse creates a domino effect, so automatically a mother-daughter relationship becomes abusive and suffocating for the daughter who tries to escape her own demons. As an artist, I always believed that, more often than not, captivity starts from the mind, that liberation is an internal process as well as an external one. I wanted to demon- strate this in a story that is personal, poetic and drawn from real life.This film was my opportunity to show a form of human captivity through my own lens, that I hope will raise awareness on emotional abuse and inspire other people to raise their voices.