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About Where We Disappear - the Motion Picture
based on A Gulag Mouse

A feature film directed by Simon Fink

Amazing producer Vanessa Pantley came to see the Sacred Fools Theatre production of A Gulag Mouse, and knew that it was the right project for Simon Fink, who had been looking for a self-contained story to direct. She urged him to see it - which he did, a few times, and before the end of the run, we were in negotiations for a screenplay based on the play.

A Gulag Mouse is an intense drama, almost the entire play taking place inside the bunkhouse of a Siberian Gulag - so the first challenge to write the screenplay for the movie - now titled Where We Disappear- was to open up the world, to see some of the ancillary characters that we only hear about on stage. Luckily, I had already been working on a screen version - so the time between Simon and Vanessa watching the play, and the first day of principal photography was about four months. Kind of amazing!

A Gulag Mouse - the Motion Picture
Yuri the guard, an unseen presence in the play, gets a fantastic scene - and a vicious, wonderful monologue - in the movie.

Where We Disappear Ending Explained

So one of the more popular Google searches for this movie is "Where We Disappear ending explained"... and I get it - the ending is enigmatic, puzzling - almost contradictory. I love how Simon presented it... but, speaking as the writer - if you're trying to nail down an absolute: This is what happened, step by step, without any debate...

Click to reveal the spoiler!
... then you're kind of missing why the ending works the way it does. There is a lot of evidence that she has in fact been in solitary confinement in the Gulag for 12 years, during which time she disassociated into each of the various woman, that her mind broke - but so that she could keep that part of her that still felt hope and love for her son and all the emotions that cannot survive in a Gulag, protected... but there are also some parts that don't fit that explanation. The ending is meant to be unresolvable, so that watching the movie (or the play) provokes the contemplation you are experiencing now. How much of her story can we believe? How much of the Gulag experience is real... ultimately, is there even a Gulag at all, or is it all a metaphor for a marriage to an abuser? It's meant to remain somewhat unanswerable. But if you need something solid, I would go with: Solitary, 12 years, out and reunited with her son and survived the ordeal through imagining various women to handle different survival aspects. It's only one answer, but it's as good as any of them. Okay?

Where We Disappear premiered in June of 2019 as part of the Dances with Films Festival.


I'm thrilled to announce WHERE WE DISAPPEAR won BEST FEATURE PRO-ACTION at the 2021 Artemis Film Festival!

Artemis Film Festival


Microsoft XBox

Where We Disappear

There's a great article about the director Simon Fink - and the film - in the Virginian Pilot.

Heartland Film Festival

Beloit Film Festival

Dances With Films Festival

It got a RAVE REVIEW from Film Threat.

Where We Disappear Film Threat Review

Directed by
Simon Fink

Screenplay by Arthur M. Jolly
based on his play
A Gulag Mouse

Produced by
Bonnie Bruckheimer .... executive producer
CC Chainey .... co-producer
Geralyn White Dreyfous .... executive producer
Trent Kendrick .... associate producer
Vanessa Pantley .... producer

Jolene Andersen .... Masha
Carmen Argenziano .... Train Passenger
Georgina Haig .... Anastasia
Brock Brenner .... Young Ivan
Vera Cherny .... Prushka
Daniyar Daniyar .... Genrikh
Hunter Doohan .... Ivan
David M. Edelstien .... Yuri
Courtney Enea .... Cringing Woman
Kerrington Fier .... Sergo
Katharine Isabelle .... Lubov
Jonathan Scarfe .... Evgeny
David Otto Simanek .... Train Station Attendant
Trevor Teichmann .... Guard #3
Osa Wallander .... Svetlana
Andrea Monte Warren .... Polina

Blair Skinner .... UPM
Mac Fisken .... director of photography
Mary Jo Slater .... casting director

Adhish Yajnik .... 1st ad
Michael Konopisos .... 2nd ad
Grant Ebert .... key PA
Kyleen Hengelhaupt .... set PA
Alice Chen .... set PA

Christy Teichmann .... script supervisor

Parker Brooks .... stedicam operator
David Bostrom .... 1st AC
Carol Kim .... 2nd AC

Richard Carlos .... sound mixer
Jonathan Ho .... boom operator

Andrew Enloe .... gaffer
Ryan Mosley .... g/e/ swing
Kyleen Hengelhaupt .... set PA

Nina Caussa .... production designer
Chloe Reisen .... art director
Alex Bennet .... prop master
Kate Dilberto .... art PA
Alex French .... make up
Yeritsa Bonilla .... assistant make up
Edna Jones .... costumer

Cole McKay .... stunt coordinator
George Maski .... set medic
Josh Hakian .... special effects
Kyleen Hengelhaupt .... set PA

Jamey Clouse.... VFX

Music by
Nathan Matthew David
Jeremy Lamb

Film Editing by
Jordan Ledy