'Justice and Mercy' is about a middle-aged pub landlady, Laney, who lives alone. Laney's life is grey and repetitive. The environment in which she lives gives clues that her life hasn't always been like this. There were happier times. A marriage. A child. On a very routine morning, prior to opening up the pub, a chance encounter with an opportunist schoolboy plunges Laney into a situation that she never imagined she would be in. Correction. She HAS imagined this situation; being left alone with the boy who bullied her son relentlessly, until he took his own life. This boy is on her property and she has him completely at her mercy. Laney must reach inside herself and decide what to do. And quickly, because time is ticking, and seen people will soon begin to ask questions. She has a couple of hours to resolve this situation for good. The film is a chamber drama, featuring only the two characters, which will explore the outcome of each course of action. Illustrations by John Barlow, music by Sam Jones.
Justice and Mercy is not a transposition of a Bible story, rather an exploration of a central Biblical theme as taught by Jesus. Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” There is an obvious Biblical significance to this message, but it is also lays out an important principle for people of any faith or none; that forgiveness sets you free. The central character in Justice and Mercy, Laney, is put into a position where she must either have mercy, and forgive someone who brutally robbed her, or pursue her own justice and then face judgement herself. There is only one course of action that will result in any real future for her, but she must be strong and choose the narrow, difficult path. My aim is to allow the audience to identify with Laney and the boy, and agonise over her decision themselves.