Belly of the Whale is the story of a 7-year-old Syrian child fleeing his country with his father. They find themselves trapped inside the mouth of a huge whale. Disobeying his dad, the boy explores the environment. Suddenly the whale begins to stir, swallowing his father and leaving the boy staring into the abyss of its belly. He eventually musters up the courage to search for his father. Venturing through the darkness, the boy is confronted with other people hiding. He’s grabbed! But the spark of a lighter reveals his dad. The pair are reunited but suddenly the whale comes to an abrupt halt. The boy, being held by his father, watches the whale's mouth open wide. Light floods the space, then it's revealed that they are inside a lorry, searching and hoping for a better life away from their homeland.
The story of Jonah and the whale is the source for my story. The message from it is that we serve a God of second chances. I’m adapting it in a contemporary setting highlighting the struggles of the people trying to escape the perils of their war-torn home lands, desperately attempting to find safe futures. I want to convey a child’s imagination protecting himself from the harsh realities surrounding him. I feel this is an important story to tell as, like Jonah, we can sometimes look at parts of the world with little empathy and wish to leave them to themselves. We should be looking at situations with compassion, I want the audience to be Jonah, to become kinder and more compassionate people from watching Belly of the Whale.
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