Before The Tide Comes In

Created by Joshua Shea, The Pitch 2020

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A dark comedy exploring the themes of judgement, the brevity of life, purpose and redemption. Set on a desolate beach, buried up to their neck in the sand are two people. ‘Undeserving’, is in her late 40s. She has chosen to be there and is at peace with her fate. Two metres to her left, facing the concrete wall is ‘Deserving’, a criminal who has been punished with the same sentence. Unable to move, this is their final twenty minutes before the tide comes in. Undeserving is arrogant and judgemental towards Deserving at first, challenging his use of profanity and intrusive presence. As they speak with one another they begin to connect. He opens up about his failed marriage and his relationship with his sixteen-year-old son. She reveals her pursuit for success, at the cost of relationships and realises this too late after developing a terminal illness. Despite their differences, they become grateful for each others company and realise that the approaching tide is less intimidating when someone else is there with you. With everything else stripped away they find peace in simple human connection.

Biblical Connection

I was inspired by Luke 23 verse 41, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.” There is a deliberate echo of Jesus’s conversation with the criminal at the crucifixion who faces imminent death and judgement for their actions. The names that I’ve chosen for the characters reflect 'Undeserving’s' judgment of herself and the man beside her. From her perspective, she does not deserve to have her life cut short but the man beside her does. During the film, her opinion begins to change as she listens to ‘Deserving’ and realises his perspective. They both come to terms with the lives that they have lived and together help each other find a sense of peace.