The Eyes of the Innocent

Created by Edward Lomas, The Pitch 2018

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Prime Minister Heather Cole has been pressured to call a referendum. The question has been put to the British people - should capital punishment be reinstated? Nick Amos, a prominent human rights activist, has launched the campaign to reject the reinstatement of the punishment. A counter campaign is launched by Corey Smith, a far-right activist who serves as leader of nationalist group the English Front. In response to Amos’ bid Smith pledges that should his campaign win, Amos, as an enemy of the state, will be the first to be sentenced under the new law for treason. The bid to reinstate the penalty is won by a narrow margin. Faced with crowds baying for Amos’ blood, despite supporting him, Prime Minister Russo washes her hands of the decision. Amos is sentenced to death for treason, and thrown in prison. Emerging from solitary confinement, Amos is taken to his execution. Amos’ supporters project the images of a thousand eyes onto the building facing the prison. As the guards look at the projections Amos speaks his final words - “Look upon the eyes of the innocent! Forsake me but do not forsake them”.

Biblical Connection

I am using Matthew 27:24, which tells the story of Pontius Pilate. I’m adapting it into a political drama, by replacing key characters with activists and politicians, because I believe wholeheartedly in the moral imperative of the source material - that you should do what you know is right, no matter the cost. This couldn't be more relevant today with those in positions of power utilising hatred and vengeance to further oppression, as well as for their own financial gain. Nick Amos, a human rights activist, represents Jesus. Corey Smith, a far right activist, represents Barabbas. Pilate is represented by the Prime Minister of the UK; Heather Russo. Pilate in Matthew 27:24 decides to release a prisoner and hands the decision of who to release to the people. In my version, the people make their choice through a heavily-publicised referendum. Both Russo and Pilate have the choice to do the right thing, but out of fear of losing their power give in to the will of the people. We see this happen all too often, going back to the stories in the bible.