A documentary film project by Elena Avdija

Production : Alter Ego / Bande à Part Films (Switzerland) / RTS / Arte France / BIP TV

with scriptwriting support from Cinéforom
winner of the SSA grant and the RTS « Perspective d’un doc » award at Visions du Réel 2019
with development supports from FOC (Federal Office of Culture), Cinéforom, Procirep-Angoa and Ciclic-Centre-Val de Loire Region
with the production supports from FOC, Cinéforom, Suissimage and Ciclic-Centre-Val de Loire Region and CNC-FSA


Virginie, Petra and Estelle are stuntwomen. They have a magic power: they can jump from a bridge and land on their feet without a scratch – or almost. They get hit by cars, sometimes several times in succession, or struck by violent husbands, by gangsters – the bad guys in films. And every time they get back up and go again. ACTING PAIN depicts the individual paths of these three women who serve the film industry with their bodies. In a world in the midst of change, our documentary portrays how power and hierarchical relationships between the genders are anchored in the physical bodyand how they shape this in the world of cinema.