Biography - Development 2016

A leading South African DNA professor leaves a crucial case to go to New Zealand and be with his mother in her last days. What happens there will change his life forever.

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Biography, Social issues
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Craig FREIMOND
    • Writer(s)
    • Craig FREIMOND
    • Producer(s)
    • Robbie THORPE, Philippa CAMPBELL
    • Synopsis
    • Biochemist Sean Davison is heading a ground-breaking
      DNA analysis of bone fragments to identify young antiapartheid activists who were murdered by the security police in the mid 1980’s. Just days into the project, Sean’s elderly mum Patricia calls from New Zealand, asking him to come and see her.
      Her cancer has advanced; it’s pointless to have further
      treatment. She’s a doctor and knows she doesn’t have
      much time left and wants her youngest son to be with her when she passes away. Sean had a rocky relationship with his dad but is close to his mum, and though it’s bad timing in terms of leaving work, he farewells his colleagues and his girlfriend Raine, assuring them he’ll be back in a couple of weeks.
      At first the joy of being with Sean buoys Pat’s spirits. They strike up a settled, if eccentric, domestic routine. But when her health takes a severe dive and she
      refuses to stay in hospital, Sean confronts the bald
      fact that he’s the one who has make her wish to
      die at home a reality: neither of his older siblings
      have volunteered and he can’t face abandoning
      her in a rest home. Home from hospital, Pat tells Sean a secret. She saw many drawn-out deaths when she was practicing medicine and she doesn’t want the
      same for herself. So she’s hidden a gift from his
      father - a bottle of an anti-depressant that can
      be fatal in large doses. This proposal pushes Sean way out of his comfort zone. Philippa, his doctor sister, is appalled: the medicine is ten years old and its effects could be catastrophic, leaving Pat alive but with severe brain damage or worse. Sean has to break the news that Pat can’t take the medicine, but she’s determined. Sean redoubles his efforts to be a great nurse, he’s no idea what else to do. He takes special effort over her morning coffee, but one morning, in return for a steaming cup, Pat hands him a piece of paper: a faintly written ‘living will’ which states that henceforth she will refuse all food. Sean promises to support her decision and this complicity brings a new intimacy and humor into the delicate balance of their shared world. Pat’s artist friends bring good cheer into the house, and Sean’s old university mate Ian extracts him when he can, but when Sean’s older brother Fergus turns up from London he’s shocked at the state of the two of them. Pat appoints Fergus as the new head
      of the family and he does his stitched-up best to support Sean. Together they celebrate the news that the DNA has been identified successfully in South Africa, a success he dreamed of but that Sean hasn’t been there for. Fergus leaves, and alone again with his mum, Sean is worn down by her pain and perplexed by the mysterious force that seems to be keeping her alive. He tries to reassure her it’s ok for her to go. How far can love go? A long, long way. Pat wants Sean to help her die and while his head tells him it’s what she needs, his heart resists.