No. 22

Created by Tolu Stedford, The Pitch 2017

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Let us take you inside ‘No. 22’. From the outside it’s a typical house, on a typical London street. Inside live three sisters: Bella, Angela and Donna. Here in their family home, the three adopted sisters (one black, two white) were raised by their loving father. But, due to their turbulent childhoods they have obstacles to overcome: Donna, a selective mute, has not spoken for years; Angela has anger issues and Bella yearns for love anywhere she can.  Even from a white supremacist. Our story takes place on the night of Bella’s birthday, when she is going to introduce her boyfriend, Blake, to her sisters for the first time. Bella is blissfully unaware of Blake’s true identity, in turn, Blake doesn’t know Bella has a black sister. But Donna does. Having seen a video of Blake’s racist violence on social media, she foresees trouble. At dinner some of Blake’s remarks go unchallenged, until he goes too far with his racial hatred. Angela stands up for herself, leaving Bella in a dilemma over who to choose, love or family? The violence escalates and Donna is left with no choice but to speak to save her sisters.

Biblical Connection

We have taken inspiration from Numbers Chapter 22. This bible chapter is about King Balak who bribes a prophet (Balaam) to curse Israel. This is unpleasing to God, but Balaam goes anyway. Balaam begins his journey on his donkey when an Angel of the Lord appears with a sword. Balaam is unaware of the Angel and continues to travel. In our story Angela represents the Angel. We see her wield a knife (as the Angel does with a sword) towards Bella, who represents Balaam. King Balak is represented by Blake, a white supremacist who offers love to Bella. This parallels Balak offering riches to Balaam. Donna represents the donkey, who as per the bible verse, warns Balaam (Bella) three times. Eventually the Donkey (our mute Donna) is forced to speak to make an impact. Israel is represented as the black boy who is beaten in a racist attack perpetrated by Blake and his thugs (which represents Balak and his army). The film explores good versus evil, love verses hate and the challenge of sacrificing selfish desires for the love of God and our neighbours. "There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)