TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Red Mercury

William Laboury



Alex, a 16-year-old girl, has an intimate friendship with Zoe, until the day Zoe suddenly vanishes. To understand her disappearance, Alex burrows into her lost friend’s private life, finding out that Zoe was secretly intent on manufacturing Red Mercury, a substance thought to have magical powers.
Alex enrolls a childhood friend, a boy named Paul, to travel to a remote island where mercury is mined.
But mercury is toxic. Alex plunges into an improbable world where the metal comes to life; where memories speak and belief contaminates the blood like a disease.
Alex’s search for Zoe destroys her health and brings her into conflict with everyone around her. She is convinced, to the point of madness, that magic does exist. But if she is not to die as her friend has died, then she must confront her most intimate fears and discover who she is, now that her friend is gone.
She must face the fact that her best chance of survival lies with friends and family after all.


“Red Mercury” explores how an inexplicable disappearance opens a hole of irrationality in a teenager’s life, when the only one you love does not exist anymore.
After discovering the facts about Red Mercury on-line, I tried to understand the fascination that hundreds of people – including me – have for its power. Red Mercury is whatever you want it to be: a nuclear weapon in Russia, a cure for immortality in South Africa, a way to call the djinns in Maghreb.
But it does not exist. Everyone has a red mercury of their own: a gateway into a magical yet reassuring world, in which the inexplicable finds an explanation and the impossible becomes possible.
Alex finds in Red Mercury an answer to the death wish that seizes her as life becomes unbearable. Belief in Red Mercury contaminates her entire life as the toxicity of regular mercury starts to affect her brain. If Alex wants to find out what has happened to Zoe then she must cross over into the land of the dead. And decide where she belongs.

A young girl’s quest to bring back her only friend through the hunt for a magical and toxic matter.
William Laboury

Scriptwriter, Film Director

production notes

original title
Mercure Rouge

directed by
William Laboury

produced byKazak Productions
9 Rue Reaumur
75003, Paris

total production budget
€ 3.000.000