The Film will be a non-narrative and free artistical interpretation of the last episodes of life of Joan of Castille in isolation.

The performance is based on the cast's movement vocabulary developed in Butoh dance and was shot in various locations in County Kerry, Ireland. 

The aim is to reflect methods of social and institutional oppression through history and to create a reality which exposes the characters inner world in physical and mental paralysis. The architecture of the Muckross Abbey among other locations shaped and inspired the performers movements strongly and allowed to explore interdisciplinary artistic expressions and analogue filming techniques in with historical content.

Shooting locations

Cahergall Stone Fort, Ballinskelligs Beach, Bray Head, The Grotto Slate Quarry, Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park. 

Producer, Director

Juana Robles


Marie-Gabrielle Rotie

John Lannine

Production assistance

Michael Higgins

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Juana la loca (Joan the mad), was the third child of the ‘Catholic Kings’, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile and her husband Philip the Handsome, Archduke of the House of Habsburg. Joan’s marriage with Philip, was initially marked by the couple’s great devotion to each other. But the couple were often separated, as Philip needed to spend long periods in the Netherlands while Joan had to show her presence in Castile. She suffered from her separation from Philip, who evidently did not take his vows of conjugal fidelity very seriously. Dramatic scenes of jealousy ensued, with Joan sometimes physically attacking her real or supposed rivals.

After the sudden death of Philip in 1506 her mental health deteriorated. Her love for her husband developed into a mania. She would not allow his mortal remains out of her sight, travelling for weeks with the coffin and after having his corpse taken out of its coffin and put into a bed in her room, to which no one was admitted.

In 1509 on her father’s orders, Joan was taken to the convent of Tordesillas, where she was looked after by nuns of the Poor Clares until her death. She lived there in complete seclusion. Her mental state deteriorated over the years. She refused to practise any kind of personal hygiene and was neglected and abused by those around her. Alternating between total apathy and episodes of aggression, she now had only rare moments of lucidity.

Joan spent forty-six years imprisoned in the convent before her death at the age of seventy-five in 1555.

However, the actual degree of her mental disorder is difficult to assess, as the accounts of her behaviour were to some extent distorted by the interest of her father in undermining her authority as entitled Queen.

Documentation film shoot (31.04.2021 - 6.05.2021)

Scenes of transition, Bray Head 

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