My pitch is an attempt to reconcile religious rhetoric with the realities of modern life. In this instance this involves depicting the dissolution of a gay couples relationship as they fight for the rights to their only child. Cassie and Heather had it all. A great marriage. A beautiful baby. A perfect life. Unfortunately, like half of all marriages today, theirs wasn’t meant to last. What followed was a bitter divorce and prolonged custody battle, which drained the pair both emotionally and financially. With few options left they find themselves sentenced to the Judge Sally Show, a reality TV circus posing as a family court. Neither Cassie nor Heather ever wanted to be in this position. But as their shattered lives are turned in ratings grabbing segments, they find themselves going head to head in front of a live studio audience. The wonders of IVF had allowed both women to lay claim to motherhood, but now a humble DNA swab threatens to definitively prove which of them is the baby’s genetic progenitor. Of course the real victim in all of this is the child they share, the ever present threat of having his life rent in two hovering over him like a raised sword.
In 1 Kings 3:16-28 two harlots are brought before King Solomon. Both women shared the same house, giving birth to boys. As they slept a child died, and now each woman lays claim to the surviving baby. It falls to King Solomon to decide the infant’s fate. The obvious parallels between my pitch and this story is that both involve women fighting for the right to raise a child. However my interpretation seeks to make this a more female focused story, one that examines the trials and trauma that brought these two women to this desperate point in their lives. My short still has a Solomon figure in the form of Judge Sally, the host of the reality TV show my battling mothers find themselves on. Though despite being the star of the show she won't be the centre point of the short. Because whilst most people seem to remember this story as one that exemplifies the Wisdom of Solomon, in my mind it was always about a parent that’s willing to sacrifice anything for the wellbeing of their child. That's what I want to explore, the reoccurring theme within the Bible that self-sacrifice can be the most powerful embodiment of love.