Amber Heard’s Film “Into the Fire” Premieres at Taormina Film Festival

Amber Heard’s Film “Into the Fire” Premieres at Taormina Film Festival

Amber Heard’s film, “Into the Fire,” premiered at the Taormina Film Festival on Saturday evening. The film’s director, Conor Allyn, and Italian actor Luca Calvani, who stars as Father Antonio in the movie, sat down with Deadline to discuss their experiences of working with Heard, the film’s messages of breaking down barriers of mental health, and human connection.

Before shooting “Into the Fire” with Amber Heard as the lead in February 2022, months had passed since the actor’s legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp. Now, a year later, the film has launched Heard back into the film industry.

Allyn and Calvani praised Heard’s performance in the movie, with Allyn saying, “I’m so happy that Amber went through something so awful and it didn’t change her as a person. She’s still the shining light that we explained earlier, and to go through something that terrible and be able to come out the other side and be whole, well, I can’t imagine it.” Calvani added, “She’s a star, and she has that light. She glows and she pulls you in, and she shares it with everybody. The last person on set will feel it and feel a connection with her.”

In “Into the Fire,” Heard plays an American psychiatrist who travels to a remote plantation in Colombia in the 1890s to treat a disturbed boy. There, she finds herself in a war of science versus religion with the local priest (played by Yari Gugliucci) who believes the child is possessed by the devil.

Allyn described the movie as being about people who are walled off from one another because of various flaws, fears, and biases. “We use psychiatry, or the study of psychology, in the film to basically break down those barriers a bit and look past them and find some human connection,” he said. The 1890s was right at the genesis of that science and it wasn’t a respected science at all at that time. Still, obviously mental health is something we’re talking about on a daily basis, and we still don’t understand it.”

Calvani noted that while the film is set in a different time, there are many relevant themes that will align with modern-day society, notably issues of increased polarization of beliefs and the lack of acceptance of new ideas. “We tend to speak in absolutes now,” said Allyn. “Whatever side you’re on, we don’t reach across lines, we don’t communicate with any significance across tribal lines, and we should. I think that’s what I love about cinema, is that we all sort of sit in the dark and will watch the same movie, and we’re doing it together.”

Calvani added, “We talked about absolutes and humanity, by definition, is just the opposite of that. And so, when the audience gets put into this space, where some of the characters display various aspects all over the spectrum of these absolutes, and they are forced to question themselves, which is really rooted in our humanness in a way. And so, it starts the conversation and then walls crumble and connection happens.”

The message of “Into the Fire” is about breaking down barriers, finding human connection, and accepting new ideas. The film is an ode to the genesis of psychiatry and the importance of mental health. It also addresses modern-day issues, such as increased polarization of beliefs and the lack of acceptance of new ideas.

Despite the challenges that Amber Heard has faced in the past, she has emerged as a shining light in the movie industry. Her performance in “Into the Fire” has been praised by the film’s director and co-star, who have noted her generosity and encouragement on set. As the film continues to make its way through the festival circuit, it will undoubtedly spark important conversations about mental health, human connection, and the importance of breaking down barriers.

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