Portcullis

Created by Henry Steedman, The Pitch 2020

Description

Portcullis is an absurdist satire, based on Daniel and the Lions. My take has Daniel become Danielle, an up and coming British MP who is led by truth and conscience. When she defies the Government by voting against them in Parliament, she is summoned to No 10 to face the consequences. She is quick to realise that the PM is a puppet, controlled by his advisor. On that advisor's command she is to be thrown to the lions... But not metaphorically - actually fed to real lions that live in a pit below No 10, with a handy Bond villain trap door installed in the PM's office. In she goes and both the PM and advisor laugh at the fate of another do-gooder. But when they hear not a peep from the lion pit, they investigate, only to discover that the lions haven't eaten her at all. After she explained everything to them, the lions are in fact rather cross, and say as much to the PM. The PM realises his folly and retrieves Danielle and in her place chucks in the advisor. In a hastily arranged press conference, he announces Truth to be their new slogan.

Biblical Connection

Daniel and the lions is one of the better known biblical stories, and deals with the idea that believing in God's word is the surest way to salvation. Daniel's trust that God will ultimately keep him from harm is an allegory which is at the heart of Christian faith. And it is with allegory in mind that I believe this can be such a powerful representation of truth to power. In my story, faith in God is represented by a belief in truth - truth as a moral conscience that guides the decisions of Danielle. They say politics these days is beyond satire, beyond parody, but I believe a film such as this shines a light on just how corrupt the thinking is behind most policy decisions - and hopefully let's those in power know that WE KNOW. With the example of Daniel's faith in God - and God's power to transform true believers - I want to retell the story in a comedic way that has underlying seriousness at it's heart. The character of Daniel is recurrent and important - an emblem of the power of faith, of truth. It is no more relevant than today.