The only thing I asked of life was peace. Besides, I wasn’t in the position to ask for more. From very early on I was very tired, exhausted. Just a bit of peace! Nothing more! Let me lose myself inside a starry place, by the sea, on mountaintops, let me forget… forget who I am and where I came from …and go about from place to place without a specific purpose, without a destination. As simple as that…”
Elly’s trunk is open
A struck match lights a fire.
The notes, the doll which burns slowly, her childhood photographs and the carousel…
Ashes to ashes.
Fire at the antique shop. Fire everywhere.
It’s raining at the town square. The night is pitch black.
The girl faints in front of the kiosk. Elly approaches her and hugs her and holds her tight. She’s afraid she might forget.
Elly is a woman of about 30 years of age, whose artistic nature leads her to abandon her studies at Thessalonica University for a career in photography, in an attempt to detach herself from her past. Athens offers her a new beginning. The people she choses to have close to her, Olga and Nicholas, pass their “tests” successfully, allowing her to open herself up to them and to trust them. To earn their keep, she and Olga open a cafe, since artistic photography doesn’t pay, and Nicholas becomes her new life’s “better half”.
In her free time, Elly devotes herself to the care of young abused children. There, at “Children’s House” she also meets Fenia, whom she takes under her wing.
In a town in northern Greece, a pretty girl of 14 years is going through a happy adolescence, close to her mother and her stepfather, Jacob. Her parents divorced when she was six years old.
Jacob is an antiques dealer; he has a large shop in the centre of town, in an old neoclassical building. The best “pieces” he keeps in the basement, to where he descends through a secret trap-door that is kept covered by a heavy Persian rug.
Their lives progress quietly and without turmoil, until Jacob starts to make remarks about the way the girl dresses, how she is now “a young woman”, and that torn jeans and other “fashion statements” are now “inappropriate”…
Her mother doesn’t pay much attention to all this…
The days go by until the teenager’s life is unexpectedly overturned in the prime of her bloom, by an event linked to the most heinous and beastly instincts of human behaviour. The good and caring Jacob, her second father, abuses her sexually, kidnaps and moves her while unconscious into the antique shop’s basement, whose existence is known only to him.
She hasn’t a clue as to how long she remains locked up. Her stepfather goes up and down the stairs to bring her food, threatening to kill her family, and performing his dirty acts.
“You’ve finally changed. No more crying, right? Because you’re happy, aren’t you?”, he tells her as she looks at him both in desperation and affirmation. The monster continues his delirium: “…you’re my treasure… the most valuable treasure in my collection!”. And the teenager waits, patiently and stoically, for the right moment…
An autumn shower suddenly breaks out one evening and the lightning lights up the windows of the antique shop with its glyphic black railings, giving off from the outside a view of an impregnable castle. She approaches the man stealthily like a cat, and the moment he lights the lamp, the first blow lands powerfully, decisively. “Now, again! Again!”.
At the grand opening of Elly’s photographic exhibition at the cafe, a mysterious man tries to reach her.
Something about him gives rise to Elly’s “freezing up”. Emotional instability and psychological disturbances return, this time more intensely, and the girl seeks help from the psychiatrist who has treated her in the past.
These happenings ultimately give way to threatening telephone calls and letters that reach their peak with the injury of her boyfriend, Nicholas, in an auto accident. All of that, in combination with the terrible persistence of the alleged decorator to remain involved in her life -a man who approaches the young Fenia with insinuations, a man with the mark on his hand, a man who calls her “Elisabeth”, (like “him”)– put Elly in the painful position of discovering the source of her new threat. She begins watching him and he methodically leads her into the trap he has set, leading her unawares to his apartment. What she suspected and feared is true: the anthropomorphic beast she had destroyed in her previous life is alive!
Nicholas is watching television at home when his attention is interrupted by a bulletin about the “murder of a 55-year old man, details unclear as yet. Passports found in the house of the victim were fake, while on his face and body traces of multiple plastic surgeries have been discovered. Police are investigating the case…”.