Jesse and Charlie's father was a man full of character; adventurous, tenacious, effervescent. As children, he would take them to 'his forest' on the outskirts of their small town. He promised he would always be there, but life had other plans. It's 2008, just weeks into the financial crash and both brothers, now teenagers, struggle to come to terms with the death of their father, whilst facing their own challenges. Jesse has returned home, after a short stay in prison, to find he has no job prospects and an alcoholic mother. Meanwhile, Charlie fights to protect their father's memory from a mining company who want to turn the forest into a quarry. Faced with the decision either to help Charlie or think of himself, Jesse spirals into self doubt. In a moment of dazed desperation he discards his cigarette onto the forest floor. In the night, Charlie wakes him, the forest is on fire. Jesse revives his father's old car and they rush to the blaze in an attempt to save what they can, but the flames engulf everything. Escaping, but with their memories shattered, the brothers must come to realise that their father's promise was never about the forest.
In Genesis 6 God makes this promise: 'Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you'. To me, the story of Noah is not just about a flood, it is about learning that God keeps His promises. The promises of a father to His children. In Effervescent, Jesse and Charlie's father has promised to always be with them, but now he's dead. Charlie, like Noah, wants to believe the promise, but he's misguided in his belief that it is in the memories the forest contains. Conversely, Jesse is like the unbelieving world that Noah tries to tell about the flood. He is reluctant to believe his father's promise through fear of disappointment. As the fire begins to destroy what remains of their father's memory, Jesse is forced to reconsider and tries his best to provide an ark - his father's car. But unlike Noah, the car burns, along with the forest. The flood has come. It takes losing it all for them to realise their father's promise still stands. He is not gone, he is there in them. On the Ark, Noah may well have felt that God had abandoned him, but He kept His promise.