Ester is a single mother. She has only one modest wish: to have two weeks alone without her mentally disabled son David and spend it at her friends in Italy. At the last moment, her plans change and she has no other option than to bring her son along. Once in Italy, Ester’s friends find it really difficult to deal with David’s unpredictable behaviour and move them into a vacant caravan parked in the garden. For Ester, this is the final straw. When the night comes, she gets the caravan started and takes off. She has no idea where she is going or how long their odyssey will be. On their eye-opening journey across Italy, Ester realises she can be more than just a mother of a disabled son and that their lives can be so much better.
The themes and challenges depicted in The Caravan are entirely personal to me. My son was born with Down’s Syndrome and gradually developed autism as well. However, the actual story has no autobiographical background – what is personal about it is the desire to escape, the longing to revolt and defy the role of a disabled child’s mother. The theme of rebellion is reflected in the choice of the genre as well. The road movie is, to me, the best expression of Ester’s aggressive desire to live. I am drawn to the character of Ester for two reasons. She is a strong adult woman – not a girl still searching for her inner self. She is searching for a new roadmap to her life but her search is not the blind trial-and-error of an adolescent, rather the real, deeply felt existential journey of a middle aged woman, a mother and an individual, who refuses to give in to her expected role of a caretaker. I want to make a film that is hopeful in spite of the heavy subject, full of lightness and humour.
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