Mair and Marie

Created by Luisa Webster, The Pitch 2022

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Mair and Marie are two women scarred by war, who have nothing to show for their endeavours. Mair was a Special Operations Executive spy during the Second World War and now finds herself mocked and derided by those she served with due to a false and nefarious rumour that she slept with Nazis in order to survive. This is compounded by the publication of a war memoir by her comrade, a war journalist, who stokes the flames of controversy around her. Marie has kept her service as a decoder at Bletchley Park a secret from her husband, who was injured by a bomb blast in his first month of fighting and sat out the war at a convalescent hospital. Marie is admired for her commitment to a woman's role and Mair hated for her perceived departure from it. Set around the Festival of Remembrance in 1960, both women find themselves suffocated by the roles they have been forced to take on by men who have no idea of their true sacrifice.

Biblical Connection

I have always been drawn to the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene's stories as they are two of the most prominent figures in the Bible. Growing up in the Church, it was subconsciously instilled in me that the former is good and the latter is a sinner saved only by the depth of her repentance. What I have come to realise, however, is that the only true detail that matters about these women and that we know for sure is that they obeyed God and followed Jesus. Nowhere in the Bible does it reveal that Mary Magdalene is a prostitute and equally we learn very little of Mary's true character. It strikes me that the lack of detail surrounding these women's lives betrays the inherent and still-too-present masculine control of Christianity. In this film, my aim is to demonstrate, within the context of the aftermath of the Second World War, the absurdity of the madonna-whore complex, derived originally from the aforementioned women by Freud, and highlight the respect owed to women for their contributions through the stories of Mair and Marie.