It's 1965. Every day, Pru tells her story to the decaying wall so that she doesn't forget her story. She's been incarcerated for 45 years. Staying sane has never been so hard.
This dramatic monologue, based on real events, shines a light on the practice of putting women away in mental hospitals. They were sectioned, usually by their fathers or husbands, not for being mad or simple. But for being too opinionated, disobedient, embarrassing to the family, getting pregnant out of wedlock, or simply being too beautiful. Once incarcerated - often for the rest of their lives - their name was never uttered again. It was worse than a death. If you complained about a dear relation or friend being incarcerated, you were likely to follow her into the hospital. How many wonderful women were put away and forgotten with their lives wasted over so many decades in the 1800 and 1900s? Yet so many people were clearly complicit in the practice.
I wanted to make this short film because it's a shocking piece of unknown or hidden women's history that needs to be revealed. I wrote the script during the lockdown after posing the question: what could be worse than the enforced isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic? I decided that it was being incarcerated in a mental hospital when you are entirely sane.
We filmed in the changing rooms of a West London bowls club, with new production Covid-19 protocols adding to the challenges of the shoot. The textures in the walls and window panes added to the painterly look I was after, with an old fashioned threadbare costume adding to the sense of physical and mental decay.
The project stars Carol Royle in the role of Prudence bringing her years of stage and screen experience to this challenging role.
The film is also proof of concept for a feature script set in the same mental hospital.
Ensuring that you are thanked by name, both on the credit roller and in the IMDb listing which already exists: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13107558/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1