ABOUT THE PROJECT
In a world where disease no longer exists and suicide is compulsory, a father must help his daughter say goodbye to her grandmother until an unexpected event reverses their roles.
SYNOPSIS / DESCRIPTION
A couple and their 9-year old daughter, Lucy, drive through a small American city, all three dressed up. There is obvious tension between Noah and his wife Charlotte about whether Lucy is old enough to attend. They arrive at a cliff. Noah's mother, Helen, greets the gathering guests; the air is emotional and loaded. Behind her is a diving board leading out over the open sea, from a height no one could survive.
Noah heads toward his mother but, seeing the diving board, Lucy won't come with him. An official announces that it is time for Helen’s Exit Ceremony: Today is her 60th birthday. Despite her resolve, Helen becomes shaky delivering her farewell speech. The crowd grows uncomfortable, the security guards ominously waiting nearby. Lucy decides to take an action that surprises both her parents and which gives her grandmother unexpected empathy.
This film is inspired by a short story the director wrote during her mother’s struggle with cancer. As she underwent ongoing treatments, it sometimes felt like science would eventually find a cure for her illness—if she could only hold on long enough. She began to wonder what the world might look like if science really could cure the world of all disease.
The story is about facing death and also about the power of empathy. It is about sustainability and the strained resources of the planet and creative “solutions” we may come up with to ensure our continued existence. It is about choosing how to die and saying goodbye to those we love. It about the limits of science, compromise, and imperfect outcomes. MANIFEST DESTINY is about our underlying relationship to our own mortality, our faith in the power of science and medicine, and the cycles that give our lives meaning, however beyond our understanding.
GENRE Narrative Feature
DIRECTOR Laura E. Davis
PRODUCER Beatrice von Schwerin
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