A surreal, erotic thriller about sexual awakening and the duality between dreams and reality.
Mantis was filmed by Bournemouth University Film students on April 2019 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. The crowdfunding site describes Mantis’ story as:
Birthed from cosmic darkness comes Mantis, the titular character of this surreal, erotic thriller. The protagonist of this story is not Mantis, but Wendy; mid-twenties, shy, a dreamer and an explorer.
Truth, illusion, sex, dreams, reality, Mantis, Desmond; these are the dualities Wendy faces throughout this story as she experiences a series of erotic lucid dreams.
The film begins with Wendy as she feels trapped with her long-term boyfriend Desmond. She yearns for something more in her relationship, especially her sex life given she feels no physical attraction towards Desmond.
Mantis, alien-like, bald and very odd looking, begins to appear in Wendy’s erotic lucid dreams. And although she loves Desmond, she doesn’t want these dreams to stop.
Mantis brings out Wendy’s deepest primal desires. With Mantis, she feels free and empowered, she has regained control of her body and of her sexuality, something Desmond believes he owns.
Nothing in ‘Mantis’ is what it seems.
Wendy is conflicted about her dreams. Desmond has some dark secrets and most importantly, who is Mantis? Where does he come from? And what does he want?
The film is both transgressive and progressive, portraying an implicitly toxic relationship as well as a character’s sexual awakening from an empowering female perspective.
Director: M. Can Yilmaz