Lark's Head

Created by Henry Steedman, The Pitch 2015

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This is a thriller set in a parallel world - where the old global order has been overthrown. Abraham is second in command to the reclusive new leader who keeps his eyes on everyone with a network of surveillance drones. In order to set a powerful example of the necessary devotion to this new movement, Abraham is ordered to attach a case of explosives to his son and blow it up. In the process destroying a tower block which stands as a symbol of the past, creating space for a new beginning. This is the troubling moral dilemma Abraham faces – and his struggle with the request is the backbone of the narrative. However, our eyes into the story are through two minor characters from the biblical account - the two servants who join him on the journey. Similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, they come to terms with the unfolding events from the warehouse where they have to wait for Abraham. The tension mounts as they begin to realise what is about to happen, and face their own dilemma as to whether to intervene. Meanwhile, the leader's bodyguard makes sure she can get to Abraham before it's too late...

Biblical Connection

The Binding of Isaac is possibly the most contentious story in the Bible - and I believe the moral questions it raises has compelling relevance to current world events. It is my aim to explore the dilemma but leaving room for the audience to make up their own mind as to what they would do. My version is a fairly straight retelling, but in a wholly different context - trying to create a logic where the command and the acceptance can appear reasonable. The Lark's Head is a reference to the knot Abraham uses to bind his son to the case. The lark also has cultural and religious symbolism as a bringer of new beginnings. With themes of trust, sacrifice and courage it has been tackled in literature by many great artists, including JRR Tolkein, Stephen King and Bob Dylan. By keeping the servants at the centre of the story the idea is to build a taut thriller around their questions and deliberations - with a palpable tension created by the ticking clock and them having to decide how to act. I want to make a visually striking and thought provoking film that promotes discussion as well as entertains.