Tribeca Audience Member Faints During ‘Swallow’ Screening

The thriller about a woman who compulsively swallows small objects didn't sit right with one viewer, who blacked out in the theater.
Haley Bennett in Swallow
Tribeca Film Festival

An audience member fainted during a screening of Carlo Mirabella-Davis’s “Swallow” at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend. According to an account from the director, the woman felt overheated and like she was going to vomit before blacking out and collapsing in the theater. An audience member sitting in the row behind the woman saw her in distress during the screening. The woman was recovering outside the theater when Mirabella-Davis approached her and learned of her reaction firsthand.

Mirabella-Davis told IndieWire:

I exited the theater for a second in the middle of the screening, and I found this person who seemed a little shaken lingering outside. I asked if she was alright, and she told me she had just fainted. She said that after the thumbtack scene, she couldn’t get the concept of the thumbtack ingestion out of her mind. She started to feel overheated and turned to her boyfriend and told him she felt like she was going to vomit, and then she fainted. She apparently blacked out and collapsed. “I’m so embarrassed,” she said, but also congratulated me on the film, joking that this was proof of its power. Concerned, I asked if she needed anything, but she assured me she was fine and sat outside until she felt better. She went back in towards the final scene.

“Swallow” is hyper-stylized thriller about a housewife with a compulsion for swallowing small objects. In his B grade review of the film, IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich described “Swallow” as “a provocative and frequently brilliant thriller about the patriarchal control over female bodies…a sharp and surprising modern fable around a woman whose environment has been weaponized against her since birth.”

“Swallow” is the first narrative feature from Mirabella-Davis, an NYU Film graduate. He previously appeared at Tribeca with “The Swell Season,” a feature documentary which he co-directed. That film charts the evolution of the relationship between “Once” co-writers Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová following the success of the film.

“Swallow” stars Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Elizabeth Marvel, David Rasche and Denis O’Hare. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Sunday, April 28.

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