Will reconciliation or revenge be the order of the day?
London-born novice nun Catherine (46) has been incarcerated in a Donegal convent for the past 33 years since giving birth to a child whom she claimed was the Son of God. When the source of her funding is withdrawn she faces the prospect of being thrust into an unfamiliar world, but a parcel sent from London by her long estranged father gives the means, finally, to search for her son.
Stealing away under cover of night, she follows the clues provided; first to the Letterkenny Prison from which he has recently been released, then to the Ballyshannon Irish Music Fleadh (Festival) where she tracks him down. Gabe (33) is a gifted, charismatic fiddle player, which reinforces his “special ness” in her eyes. After a near miss, where he hits on her (he’s got an older woman complex and he’s got it bad!) she reveals her identity and, after rescuing him from a scrape worse than death-ejection from the fleadh for beating on a bouncer – this damaged charmer starts to except the truth of his parentage, if not the second-comingness of it all. His ego may be huge, but unlike Bono he doesn’t actually believe he’s God. Gradually he and his innocent- abroad mother start groping towards some kind connection.
However, all is not happy in the world of recovered memory, and the heady mix of Gabe’s probing questions, strong drink taken and Irish Ceilidh Music (Traditional Irish Music) begin to chip away at her carefully constructed delusions. The inevitable spectre of abuse raises its’ ugly head at an Irish Step-Dancing Display in the suffocating atmosphere of the music tent.
Horrified, Catherine flees both the Fleadh and her son who, suspecting the truth, follows in her. A pile of abandoned clothes lead him to believe she intends to harm herself, while she is left alone to confront the reality that she was raped by her own father. After a wild goose chase to Bundoran Gabe he tracks he confronts her as she boards the ferry at Dun Laoghaire and she reveals the dreadful truth of his conception.
Armed with a knife he finds in her suitcase, Gabe and his mother disembark the ferry at Holyhead and drive south towards Kilburn, NW London, to confront her pillar of the church father, Donal. And interrupt her parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary party in the process. But will revenge or reconciliation be the order of the day? And why has her father Donal chosen now and to set this journey in motion and atone for his sins?
Much to Gabe’s disgust and frustration his Oedipal urge to kill his father/grandfather are thwarted when Catherine chooses the only path of life she’s known as an adult- that of forgiveness and reconciliation. And at Donal’s funeral there is a glimmer of hope for Gabe, Catherine and her more sinned- against- than- sinning mother, Norrie, whose collusion in her daughter’s exile have added another layer of sadness to an age- old tale of Catholic repression, and those knotty ties that bind.
CAROLINE BURNS COOKE
Caroline Cooke is an actress and writer acclaimed for both her shorts and feature scripts projects. Myra, one of her short script long-listed for a BAFTA, became a short film then selected for the 2013 ÉCU Film Festival, where Cooke won ‘Best Actress’ prize. She Moved Through the Fair won ‘Best Screenplay’ at Scottish Screenwriters Awards and was a finalist at ÉCU 2014. Her latest feature script Luton to Leicester, developed with LonRom Films, is currently being cast by Carol Dudley & Associates.