The South Wales Valleys, 1984. Tight-knit communities built around the industry of the local collieries. Best friends Owen (27), a police officer and Dai (27), a coal miner live with their young families in a small valleys town. The announcement of the miners strike sends shock waves through the community and places Owen and Dai on separate sides of the conflict. During a meal Dai jokes with Owen that he may have to arrest him. Owen assures Dai that he will support him through the process financially and protect him from any trouble on the picketing lines. Their relationship becomes strained as time goes on and they drift apart. After months of no contact, they come face to face during a picketing protest at the local mine and Dai is attacked and severely injured by some overzealous policemen. Owen has the chance to stop this but denies knowing him. Owen is beside himself with guilt and shame. After Dai is released from hospital they meet. Owen offers Dai a heartfelt apology. Dai offers forgiveness and the chance of continued friendship.
The inspiration for my story 'Given' comes from the friendship between Peter and Jesus, found in the gospels. Peter denies knowing Jesus after he is taken captive and ultimately crucified. Peters denial has been the subject of many works of art throughout the centuries but the real power in the story for me is Jesus' reaction - to forgive Peter. The power of forgiveness. This releases Peter from shame and guilt and gives a second chance of friendship with Jesus.