Screenplay by Henry Villate and Mark Darby Slater
Based on a true story that took place in 1930’s, Saving Elena By Moonlight is about a German x-ray technician’s obsessive love for a young Cuban-American woman, dying with tuberculosis.
Their friendship begins with the progressive Carl von Cosel acting as the caregiver to the vulnerable Elena Hoyos. Promising to cure her, Carl’s intensity towards Elena causes uneasiness among the members of the Hoyos family, including Elena herself. They become wary of his motives, and forbid him from seeing her.
After the forced separation, Carl gets word that Elena is dying. Refusing to believe this, he returns to her home and miraculously revives her from near-death. Elena realizes that Carl is her only hope of staying alive. She agrees to live with him in seclusion, and together they successfully sustain the belief that she is dead.
Over the course of the next 7 years, Carl’s behaviour arouses suspicion. Music and laughter can be heard coming from his home amid rumours of a “kept mistress.” He continually obtains medical supplies, chemicals and buys dresses and perfumes. Carl manages to keep his secret intact, except from Frank – the local drunk and confidante who keeps the secret in exchange for friendship and wine.
However the progression of rumours grows strong and Elena’s sister cannot contain her curiosity. Her suspicions lead her to his home where she finds Elena. Shocked and repulsed by what she sees, she informs the police and Carl is immediately arrested.
After assessment by The Lunacy Board and during the hearing, the court decides Carl is no danger to society. In anguish at his loss, Carl visits Elena at the funeral home. It is here the audience realizes they have been seeing and hearing Elena through Carl’s deluded mind. Carl’s release incites hatred: He returns to his home only to be driven away by the burning flames of revenge, yet compassion drives him to one last act of heroism. His love for Elena never died.