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Casey Affleck Says New Film Set in a ‘Society Without Women’ Is Not a Response to Harassment Lawsuits

Affleck is world premiering his narrative feature directorial debut at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

Casey Affleck'Light of My Life' press conference, 69th Berlin International Film Festival, Germany - 08 Feb 2019

Casey Affleck

Christopher Tamcke/REX/Shutterstock

Casey Affleck says his new directorial effort “Light of My Life” is not a response to past claims of sexual harassment against him. Affleck wrote, directed, and stars in the movie, which is having its world premiere in the Panorama section at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. The apocalyptic relationship drama centers around a father and his young daughter living in isolation as humanity draws to an end. Per the synopsis, the film is set in a “society without women where gender roles have to be renegotiated.”

“It’s not. I wrote this movie and made this movie before all of those things became part of the conversation,” Affleck said at the film’s Berlin press conference about the film being a response to his personal history. “I hope people keep their minds open and be responsible and measured in their reactions. And people can talk for themselves. It’s not something I can control.”

Affleck settled two lawsuits in 2010 accusing him of sexual harassment and other forms of misconduct during the making of his previous directorial effort, “I”m Still Here.” Despite the lawsuits being settled, Affleck has faced scrutiny over his behavior in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up anti-harassment movements. The actor declined to present at the Oscars in 2017 as to not have the controversy surrounding his past take away from the nominated films and performances.

Teddy Schwarzman, whose Black Bear Pictures produced “Light of My Life,” was asked at the press conference if any measures were taken to guarantee on set safety, to which he answered, “I don’t think any of the people on this crew felt anything other than a real joy in being there.”

“Light of My Life” co-stars Elisabeth Moss, who recently told Deadline she loved working with Affleck as a director.

“I’m a tremendous fan of his as an actor so it’s really cool to be directed by someone like that because, basically, you just want to do whatever they tell you so you can try to be as good as they are,” Moss said. “He was extremely collaborative and generous in letting me create the role, give any script notes or ideas, and really contribute to my part of the story. As an actor, it’s so helpful to be a part of a process like that and to be able to really make something your own, which he gave to me as a director. There was a lot of trust because he knew the material so well and knew exactly what he wanted. I just followed his lead and tried to help tell his story.”

“Light of My Life” currently does not have a U.S. distributor.

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