Created by Lewis Rose, The Pitch 2022

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Twelve-year-old Mossy has just been grounded for breaking the cardinal rule of the Jewish festival of Passover – no bread allowed. If only he’d resisted that chicken burger on the way home from school. To make matters worse, he’ll now miss Ella Green’s birthday party – she’s the most popular girl in school and one that Mossy has an almighty crush on. That night, Mossy stews with rage as he sits through the Passover seder meal with his family. However, as they reach the part of the service that recounts the Ten Plagues of Egypt, Mossy begins to hatch a plan. He’ll teach his parents the true lesson of the Passover story - “Set my people free!”. As Mossy begins to unleash carefully orchestrated plagues on his parents, he hopes that their resolve will soon crumble. However, with each new torment, his captors will only hardens. Before long he’s in too deep, with plagues backfiring and his meddling older brother Avi hot on his tail. At what point will Mossy say “Dayenu” (enough)? A live-action comedy in the vein of ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Malcom in the Middle’, this film begs the eternal question, how far will we go to be free?

Biblical Connection

‘Dayenu’ focuses on the Ten Plagues of Egypt and the story of Exodus. Growing up in a Jewish household, this story was imprinted on my brain from years of Passover meals, conjuring up vivid imagery and powerful messages. It seemed other-worldly yet strangely connected to me, as one of the foundational narratives on which Judaism was built. In adapting this story I’ve taken a somewhat meta-approach, viewing it through the lens of people who grew up learning these Old Testament narratives but rarely questioned how they might apply to their own lives. There’s an inherent humour in someone taking a story so monumental and re-enacting it for something as trivial as being grounded by their parents. However, as children we feel these things so strongly; they can seem like the end of the world. I was also drawn to the theme of hubris that runs through the text, and this is the true lesson of the film. Despite Mossy believing his quest is about Exodus’ message of freedom, in the end he discovers that playing God will only lead him to trouble. As children and mortals, there are some things we cannot control.