‘An ‘end-of-the-pier’ magician’s assistant, left alone when her partner dies in an escapology trick gone wrong, seeks to speak with him one last time when she locks herself in the same box that caused his death. ‘ ‘That’s The Spirit’ is a dark comedy about a complex character, exploring her journey from grief to greatness. Sally was a magician’s assistant. She held the props and was sawn in half. Her life is turned upside down when her partner, friend, mentor and lover - Samuel - dies during an illusion he’d performed a hundred times. She is lost and alone. And nobody wants a magic show without the magician. Consumed by grief and forced out of the theatre she has called home for as long as she can remember, Sally decides to end it all by locking herself in that same box. However, Sally is discovered by a fellow entertainer and arch-rival on the variety circuit, Edna; a medium who says she can speak with the dead. With just twenty minutes of oxygen and no idea how the escapology act was ever performed, can Edna summon Samuel's spirit and help Sally escape? Or is the spirit Sally needs been within her all along?
‘That’s The Spirit’ is a very personal interpretation of an unfamiliar and somewhat unsettling bible story - 1 Samuel 28: 3-25 - ‘Saul and the Medium at Endor’. Although a brief passage, it stands out in the bible as a very compelling tale, with an uncertainty that leaves it open to adaptation. I find it to be a sombre, spiritual, blunt and also darkly funny story. In my version, Saul is Sally - a brave but unstable person. The story explores ways she deals with the death of her mentor - something Saul also grapples with once Samuel dies. As with Saul’s behaviour, Sally makes questionable decisions. Grief does that to us. The narrative of the film is driven by how the folly of her choices actually helps her accept death and an afterlife for her loved one. ‘That’s the Spirit’ is not so much about having faith, as a story about having faith in yourself.
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