Nemesis

Created by Melanie Daball, The Pitch 2020

Description

On a night out, Raksha, a boxer, and her best friend Eden are followed and assaulted by a group of men. As Raksha regains consciousness, delirious and panicked, she runs away, abandoning her friend - a trauma and betrayal she buries in her subconscious, unable to forgive herself. The film itself begins weeks after the attack in gloomy, suburban London. Raksha now has no recollection of these harrowing events. A terrible headache plagues her, strangers are behaving weirdly and dark and broken memories shoot through her mind. She can't shake a penetrating fear that someone is following her and keeps dodging the police who seem to be after her. Something is wrong here. Raksha’s memory is paralysed and in her growing paranoia she denies the traumatic incident - three times. When Eden confronts her, Raksha’s memory begins to return, but her guilt twists the story: she accuses her best friend of having left her behind. Through Eden’s patience and kindness, Raksha finally opens her eyes to her trauma and betrayal. When asking for forgiveness, Eden says she has long forgiven her, that this is the third time they're having this conversation. Instead, Eden asks Raksha to finally forgive herself.

Biblical Connection

John 13:36-38 Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! Peter's three denials of Jesus and his Restoration as described in John 21:1-19, in its essence is a moving story about the depths of love and forgiveness in the face of a betrayal by a close and loyal confidant. "Nemesis" is inspired by the portrayal of Peter’s disloyalty and denial, which in their nature are very human reactions born out of fear, guilt and shame. In my approach, I map those actions and feelings onto a nuanced, modern tale around timely discussions on sexual assault and post-traumatic stress disorder. Rather than consciously denying her friend and her actions however, Raksha suffers from a memory loss triggered through paralysing guilt. Thus, building on the topic of redemption and forgiveness, in my approach, I would like to investigate the difficulties of forgiving and loving yourself beyond exoneration by others.