Eye of The Storm

Created by Mandy Carr, The Pitch 2019

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When Hannah learns that her eleven year old son, Sam, keeps hearing a voice calling his name, she is anxious about his mental health. Fearing that witnessing the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her late partner Lee, has adversely affected her son, she seeks professional help. She enlists the support of Sam's father, Mark, to go with them to the psychologist. Mark has sporadic contact with Sam. Work commitments often take precedence and intrude on their time together. He is currently pre-occupied with money going missing from work accounts. His elder sons, Harry and James, work in the family business. He is indulgent of them and they resent Sam as the reason why their parents split up. Dr. Maddy Fisher sees Sam for an assessment. Satisfied there is no immediate risk, she proposes they monitor the situation and suggests Sam actively engages with The Voice, recording what it says, if anything. Sam is the calm centre amid the fear, guilt and hostility of others around him. He has to navigate his way through their reactions, as well as cope with his own, raising the deeper question of who defines mental health?

Biblical Connection

This story is adapted from 1 Samuel 3 where the boy Samuel hears a voice calling his name. He doesn't recognise it but his guardian, the High Priest, Eli, knows it is God's voice and tells Samuel to engage with it. 'Eye of The Storm' is set within our Western contemporary culture where hearing a voice is understood through a medical model. It is the Psychologist who tells Sam to engage with the voice but only to assess his mental health. In the Biblical world Samuel becomes a great Prophet and anointer of Kings; in the modern world, Sam is in danger of being stigmatised. Just as Eli's priestly line is under judgement due to the corruption of his sons, Hophni and Phineas, and his inability to restrain them, Mark's business is under threat by the fraudulent actions of his sons and his inability to see them as they are. When Samuel is forced to repeat the message, Eli accepts it as the Word of God but when Sam tells his father what The Voice has said, Mark only has a narrow, negative model through which to translate it and this has consequences for everyone.