We The Living
In a rural camping ground, a young woman, Freya, discovers the lifeless body of a fellow traveler. To find comfort, she seeks out Jay. Safe, in the cocoon of his tent, Jay shares with her a story from his past; a story that helps to bring her own feelings sharply in to focus.
DIRECTOR’S NOTES - David Rittey
“On the surface, We The Living is a simple story. Just below the surface however, lie more intangible and complex human emotions. The story manages to touch upon a state of being that can be fleeting and hard to grasp: A feeling, or state of awareness, that can sometimes arise after experiencing loss, or surviving a traumatic event.
Sometimes tragic events can open up a place of stillness and give us a greater understanding of life. In this state, everyday worries suddenly seem trivial, and the things that truly matter come into focus. I have experienced this feeling on a small number of occasions; have tried to hang on to it, but inevitably it fades. I think that perhaps this feeling arises when we are reminded of our own mortality, and due to this reminder, we feel truly alive.
In developing the script, I was intentionally trying to keep certain elements of the story mysterious. The intention is to keep the audience intrigued and to lend the story and its characters a greater depth beyond the parameters of the cinema screen. This is a story about mortality, loss, empathy, and relationships that are difficult to name.
Having said this, the core story is simple, uncluttered, and easy to relate to. At its heart, this is a story about a relationship and a meaningful connection between two people. The setting of the campground and the transitory nature of young travellers make this particular human connection quite a rare and special thing. Both characters come from quite different backgrounds, but due to the day’s events, they connect on a deep and authentic level.
The death that Freya encounters is not the central focus of the film. Rather, it acts as a catalyst for Freya by causing her to seek out Jay; something that she may not have otherwise done. It makes her connection with Jay possible. By introducing dark elements into the film, these elements help to clearly identify a sense of real beauty and hope towards the end of the film. So, with that in mind, I see this as a film about life rather than a film about death.”