The Stupid Boy

Created by Phil Dunn, The Pitch 2020

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A boy incapable of hatred encounters a young man who is consumed by it. In a London beleaguered by white supremacist suicide attacks, Michael, 14, dual heritage, has a form of brain damage that makes him incapable of malice, and therefore very loving and affectionate. Stephen, 22, white, is full of rage because of childhood abuse, grief, and most recently, not being allowed to see his daughter who now has a new Muslim stepdad. Stephen is seen as a prime candidate by the extremist movement built around twisted nationalistic interpretations of the Bible. In the final act, Michael and his father, Adio, are on the tube. Stephen boards, having seen some women wearing burqas in the carriage. Once the train is underway, Stephen reveals he is wearing a bomb and starts shouting. In the ensuing chaos, Adio loses Michael and gets knocked down. Standing up, trapped by the crowd, Adio sees to his horror that Michael has walked over to Stephen, whose eyes are shut, preparing. Michael suddenly hugs Stephen with all his might. Stephen is surprised, bewildered, overwhelmed. Despite himself, something breaks inside him. He falls apart sobbing into Michael’s embrace. A story about the simple, extraordinary power of love.

Biblical Connection

The story and character of Christ: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies … do good to those who hate you." Matt. 5:43-44 & Luke 6:27. I wanted to adapt that verse to explore what love for someone full of hate could look like in a modern context, and imagine how it could have the power to change them. When Michael hugs Stephen on the train, it echoes Christ’s crucifixion (John 15:13, Colossians 2:15), and the fact that it changes Stephen as a result is in echo of the resurrection, whereby love overcomes evil and death (Song of Songs 8:6). Another important verse is: “God is love … There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..” (1 John 4:16+18) - that phrase “God is love” appears in the film. Also 1 Corinthians 1:27, Matthew 19:14 and 2 Corinthians 12:9 all helped shape the central character, Michael, who, although he is coming of age, is remaining like a child because of his condition; not losing his ability to love freely and without malice.