Award-winning Cypriot writer-director, Tonia Mishiali, brilliantly sheds light and audaciously challenges today’s social issues and norms relating to patriarchy, sexual harassment, and mental health through her empowering and eye-opening masterpiece, Pause (Pafsi).
The story takes us on a journey of how an oppressed
middle-aged housewife, Elpida, stuck in an emotionally abusive and lackluster marriage
with her obnoxious and tyrannical husband, Costas, powerfully harnesses her
inner strength and fearlessness as she desperately seeks solace, empathy, genuine
connection, freedom, and above all, unconditional love.
To keep her afloat in the midst of adversity, she expresses herself through the art of painting, spends time with her quirky best friend, and occasionally escapes to an imaginary world wherein she envisions a life in which she is respected, adored, and given the authority to make her own decisions.
Elpida’s character perfectly personifies the various women in our society who are relentlessly fighting an inner battle for their rights…
Pause gives us vivid depictions and in-depth understanding of the harsh reality that people, especially women, have to endure being in a conservative and patriarchal environment. Elpida’s character perfectly personifies the various women in our society who are relentlessly fighting an inner battle for their rights, to have their voices heard, not to be treated as objects, and to have equal opportunities, but choose to remain passive, silent, and submissive due to fear, judgment, and scrutiny.
However, as the story progresses, we see Elpida gradually
evolve and grow into the woman she ought to be – resilient, fierce, blissful,
and free – which instills a sense of power and gives a sliver of hope to
afflicted women and men that they have complete control to fully break free
from abuse and repression if only they muster the courage to know when enough
is enough and simply walk away from a situation or relationship that no longer
…visual aesthetics by Yorgos Rahmatoulin is like stepping into a Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuaron collaborated film…
Not to mention, seeing the captivating and meticulously
crafted cinematography and visual aesthetics by Yorgos Rahmatoulin is like
stepping into a Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuaron collaborated film. The style
and design elevate the narrative, exemplify character personas, and personify
the environment they revolve in remarkably – ingeniously satisfying and
cathartic to an audience.
The Director’s Chair
While Pause is Tonia Mishiali’s first directorial feature debut, she is no stranger to the art of visual storytelling as evidenced by her impressive list of credits and awards that her short films “Dead End” and “Lullaby of the Butterfly” garnered from film festivals around the globe.
Her strong belief and conviction towards women’s issues as well as her own experiences living in a patriarchal society inspired her to make Pause, to share the untold stories and the different lives women lead every day; how they cope with their circumstances, and ultimately give a voice to the ones who have been kept in the dark for too long.
…her own experiences living in a patriarchal society inspired her to make Pause, to share the untold stories and the different lives women lead every day…
Dauntless filmmakers like Tonia Mishiali who make it their life’s mission to create stories with substance by raising awareness on pressing issues that have been damaging society for decades is living proof that we are heading towards a promising future and a positive place where we can keep the conversation going and take the necessary actions to completely eradicate inequality, oppression, and patriarchy among others.
Pause premiered June 14th in select theaters and on VOD in the US.