Florin (23), a homesick Romanian man, joins an understaffed care home as an unauthorised worker. He is immediately drawn to Albert (75), a notoriously cantankerous resident suffering from dementia. Their relationship quickly flourishes, as Florin’s tender care is exchanged for English lessons until Albert becomes incapable of fluid communication. One morning, Florin learns that Albert will be paid a visit from his estranged daughter, Marie (40). Marie sits, faced with a shell of the man she remembers. She produces a battered notebook and reads her father his old poetry. On hearing the words crafted by his youth, Albert erupts with anger and emotion. He demands Marie to leave. That night, in a moment of lucidity, Albert grabs Florin’s wrist… “Send me upstairs.” Florin injects Albert with a heavy dose of insulin. As Albert fades, he places his watch in Florin’s palm. The following morning, Florin discovers that the care home will investigate Albert’s death. In pure desperation, he races to Marie’s office. Florin hands the watch to Marie and explains himself, begging her to intervene. Marie chastises Florin for taking a decision that was never his right to make. She calls the police, and Florin is arrested for assisted suicide.
2 Samuel 1, David hears of Saul’s death. In the adaptation, Marie discovers that Florin has euthanised her father, just like the Amalekite ended Saul’s suffering on Mount Gilboa. Reflecting on David and Saul’s tumultuous past, Marie is immediately overcome with complex emotions of grief, guilt and regret before demanding that Florin is severely punished. The adaptation poses meaningful ethical questions over whether or not Florin and the Amalekite are right in their actions. Beyond an objective deliberation of ‘Is it only God’s job to end a life?’, the issue of euthanasia is incredibly nuanced... Just like Saul, Albert is suffering, and his consent for death is explicit. However, Marie, just like David, becomes a lens that distorts any definitive conclusion over the issue. Although Albert dies as he wishes, somebody sacred is torn away from Marie, and her opportunity for reconciliation is suddenly lost. I intend to leave the audience conflicted over the moral implications, inviting them to discuss a modern issue that truly matters to an ageing population. The story will end as Marie recites her own poetry in VO, which mourns her lost relationship with Albert to reflect the following chapter, ‘David’s Lament for Saul and Jonathan’.