In 2017, Swedish journalist Kim Wall disappeared while onboard the UC3 Nautilus, the homemade submarine belonging to Danish entrepreneur Peter Madsen.
The story behind her vanishing turned out to be one of the most bizarre and morbidly fascinating murder cases in modern history, drawing the rapt and horrified attention of millions across the world. Among the real life drama’s audience was Israeli documentarian Dvorit Shargal, whose film, The Submarine Case, is currently streaming as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, celebrating its closing weekend this weekend.
We spoke to Shargal about both her film and the maritime murder mystery that inspired it.
What’s your background? I understand you are a film critic and journalist who has pivoted to documentary filmmaking in recent years?
Yeah, I have been a journalist for too many years, as I used to say in my screenings and my lectures, and afterward, I had a media criticism blog for like a decade (Velvet Underground was the name). I studied at film school university, but it took me a few decades to understand that documentary films are my passion.
How did you first become aware of the Madsen/Wall case and what drew you to it?
I heard about if from the news sites the same day that it happened, like 11 August 2017, and it caught my eyes and my heart in no time.
Why this murder and not a million others? In my film, The Submarine Case, I try to figure out.