Over the last few years I had been looking for a story that dealt with identity and faith. How they inhabit and direct our
lives whether consciously or not. And then about a year ago, I stumbled upon Kirby Dick’s Academy Award nominated
documentary ‘Twist of Faith’. The documentary dealt with the epidemic issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Further
investigation led to many articles that had a profound emotional effect on me.
I grew up Catholic and was an altar boy for a number of years. I know first hand the special relationship between a young
boy and a priest. Although nothing like this ever happened to me, it has been reported in recent decades that over
10,000 children have been sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the United States alone. The above articles and the
documentary suddenly began to serve as a kind of road map for the film. The goal of the narrative soon became clear:
what happens when ones’ identity is stripped away and the emotional tension that occurs is just outside the capacity
to understand and process it.
The social context of the piece is not my main concern, rather its the questions of guilt and innocence, morality and
immorality, and faith and doubt. Loss, loneliness, love, identity, revenge are all themes running through my film. The
film is an emotional piece without the distractions of sentimentality. Silence, stillness and emptiness are used as a
positive element rather than the absence of something. The dialogue should give meaning to the silence with the viewer
sensing that there are deep, untapped feelings just below the surface making the audience an active participant in the
The film was shot on location in a small town in Jonesburg, Mo. The specificity of place is important to me
so we can do our best to move away from the artifice of moviemaking (and acting) into a place of actual
behavior and struggle. The lonely, isolated feeling a small town represents will be essential in driving the
narrative. The quiet power of the woods and the secluded lake house will enhance the overall style and tone of
Some of the filmmakers that have most influenced me have been Tarkovsky, Antonioni, Cassavetes, Scorcese,
Bresson, and Haneke. Two films that will influence both the style and tone of this film are the Dardenne
brothers film ‘The Son’ and Gotz Spielmans’ film ‘Revanche’. Like the protagonist in these films, Clay will be
force to deal with the hyper-sensitive relationship to his own haunting past and the demons that have defined
him as a man.