Echoes of War

Created by Robyn Keetley, The Pitch 2017

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'Echoes of War' is a social drama examining how death, even that of our enemies, can reduce the most dutiful to their knees with grief. Rachel Garret; a decorated soldier, and one of the first females accepted into a GCC role, returns home determined to forget her ordeals on the front lines. However, recurring hallucinations make the most mundane chores of daily life a challenge to her. Before Rachel can adjust, she must overcome her remorse for the lives lost and destruction caused, but also the scrutiny she still faces as a female soldier struggling with her experiences. Will being honest about her struggles make others doubt her capabilities? Will keeping her visions a secret only worsen their impact on her life? Told in a non-linear structure, we hear Rachel speak of her experiences and see how they impact her life in the present. Alone and conflicted, Rachel confides in Doctor Ernest White who shows her that strength can be found in her empathy and grief, as they keep us connected to the people around us. Travelling home, she talks to a friendly stranger who asks about her day, showing Rachel that she isn’t as isolated as she thought.

Biblical Connection

‘Echoes of War’ is based on the ‘Weeping of Ezekiel’ [Ezekiel 9:8] and explores the conflicted feelings of a single person after witnessing acts of extreme brutality. The slaying of ‘old and young…maids, little children and women” [Ezekiel 9:6]’ evokes such emotion in Ezekiel, that he ‘fell upon [his] face, and cried’. I wanted to expand upon this brief moment in the passage further and explore the aftermath of death and destruction from a more personal perspective. The Book of Ezekiel often uses ‘…signs and symbols to dramatise God’s message” - inspired by this, I utilise visions and symbols to dramatise my film in a Macbethian style. To modernise the story, I made the protagonist female; violence and conflict are classically masculine themes and by exploring them from a female perspective, I feel we may derive new meaning from the biblical text; such as what it means to be a woman in the face of violence and what affects that has? Furthermore, I feel this gives the film contemporary appeal as it continues the important discussion on equal opportunities for women in the army that began in 2016 when restrictions on female service were lifted.