The Other Son

Created by Harriet Jones, The Pitch 2012

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The elder son, Steven, has sacrificed everything to care for his mother plagued with Alzheimer’s. But when she takes a turn for the worse, he is forced to hunt down his brother Luis so he can say his goodbyes. Despite abandoning the family at the first sign of his mothers illness, Luis is welcomed back by his mother with open arms, his past seemingly wiped clean. Steven, however, is not so forgiving and the brothers have much to come to terms with. They live out her final days, dealing with the trials and tribulation of her illness, but the new family dynamic doesn’t sit well with Steven. How far will his feelings of injustice, jealousy and self-righteousness take him? The Other Son is a slice of kitchen sink realism, set largely in a semi-detached house, featuring biting dialogue and heart-wrenching scenes aimed at dividing audiences. Despite the popularity of the prodigal son in stories, few have ever dealt with the older brother - or the parable's potential endings. By changing protagonist, this familiar tale takes on a whole new meaning in the present age.

Biblical Connection

Our protagonist is based on the elder son in the parable ‘The Prodigal Son’ – Jesus is evidently targeting the Pharisees in his audience. In their self-righteousness, they've forgotten to rejoice when someone returns to God. Bitterness and resentment keeps the elder son from forgiving his younger brother and blinds him to the treasure he freely enjoys through constant relationship with his father. The last missing section, which Jesus meant for the Pharisees themselves to complete, is the section my film will address through the relationship between the elder son, younger son and terminally-ill mother. Furthermore, the elder’s feeling of bitterness and resentment is evidence that the ‘selfless’ action of caring for his sick mother was not as noble as it seems. The predicament of the elder brother is something we can all identify with. We all make sacrifices: caring for loved ones, giving money to charity. But why? For acknowledgement? Penitence? Self-worth? Can we truth look in the mirror and say we did it purely for another’s benefit or are we plagued with the selfish gene? If we don’t make sacrifices for the right reasons, should we make them at all?