Out of the Dark

With Keep the Lights On, his powerful new movie about an ill-fated romance, filmmaker Ira Sachs shines a light on his own sex and drug-fueled past.

BY Heath Daniels

September 06 2012 10:57 PM ET

There’s a scene in Keep the Lights On where Erik wins a Teddy Award for his documentary. Keep the Lights On won The Teddy Award for Best Feature Film in Berlin. How’s that for life imitating art!
The film was really well received there. It was nice to be in Berlin after Sundance because the film doesn’t seem racy or any way confrontational within the context of European cinema, particularly in Berlin. Berlin and Los Angeles have been two of the best screenings we’ve had.

Now that you’ve made the film and it’s been released theatrically do you feel healed from the relationship that influenced it?
I did my therapy earlier, to tell you the truth. I’ve been in recovery programs and various things. I wouldn’t have started making this film until I sensed that I had already worked through a lot of experiences of which it came. What has been cathartic has been the affirmation as a filmmaker; the importance of telling this kind of story and the need to do so. That has been life changing.

Watch the film's trailer below.

Tags: film

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