A hand reaching underneath a T-shirt during acting class; students finding themselves in bed with the teacher: such were the disturbing everyday occurrences at the youth theater school in Lleida, Spain. Some of the girls involved were as young as 14. Veteran feature film and documentary director Isabel Coixet uses candid interviews with students and others involved to expose precisely how the abuse took place over a period of years, and the subtle and cunning strategies the perpetrator employed to achieve his aims. His star status within the school meant that for many years this charismatic teacher, and later school director, could act with impunity.
Eyewitness accounts are illustrated with archive footage and home videos, filmed in many cases by the students themselves. The scenes of exuberant teenagers joking around are cast in a quite different light by the stories of the now-adult women concerned. As well as being an analysis of manipulative behavior, The Yellow Ceiling (referring to a memory of one of the victims) is both an indictment of the inadequate handling of this #MeToo case and a tribute to the woman who brought it to light.
Nominated for Beeld en Geluid IDFA ReFrame Award