In a mini-supermarket at night, Bee (the cashier) and Kirsty (a broke customer) are besieged by a shadowy Entity. Terrified of attack they barricade the shop as the Entity patrols outside. Between bursts of infiltration, the only sound is the tick of electronic price tags across the shop as prices go up. Driven to despair by the ticking, Kirsty’s hand takes on the same shadowy wisps as the Entity. She flees. Bee cannot guard alone and the Entity finds its way in. Bee can’t see it clearly but she can see where it’s taken scissors from the shelves. Summoning courage Bee tracks it down to the toilet. She bursts in and can see it clearly for the first time; a man in dirty clothes, trimming his beard. He is Jay and he has nowhere to go. Bee sits him behind the counter in clean clothing whilst she cleans up the toilet. When she returns, Jay is cashing up Kirsty’s bill. Kirsty has returned to rescue Bee and has no idea Jay is who she feared. Frowning at the rising prices and the shadow creeping up Kirsty’s arm, Jay pulls the plug out of the electronic price tag system.
This film takes inspiration from the book of Ruth. After pursuing the good intention of caring for her mother-in-law, Ruth finds herself near destitute in a foreign country, reliant on gleaning to survive. Ruth’s good heart is recognised by Boaz and he ensures she has means to survive where others would have spurned her. Eventually he takes her into his family. Boaz’s deepening respect and care for Ruth is the key emotional journey reflected in this film. I wanted to explore this journey of perspective change in a contemporary and timely setting. Openness to a someone in strife where others would protect themselves with prejudice is needed more now than at any other time in my life. The film demands the audience to evaluate their own prejudice, as they are made complicit in the fear experienced by Bee and the customer, and to consider our collective responsibility towards others.