Socialite Ellen and her twenty year old daughter Chloe agree to disagree most of the time. They love each other very much, and it’s that love which tests them and drives them into different directions. Chloe arrives home from her nursing job one evening to Ellen demanding why her life is packed away. Chloe hesitantly breaks the news to her that she is heading away for two months to the Middle East as a volunteer.
A fierce argument breaks out between Ellen and Chloe. Ellen becomes plucky and irritable, something that Chloe is familiar with, unable to understand why Chloe can’t settle for a comfortable life in Ireland with her. Chloe becomes increasingly less patient with Ellen, resolutely outlining that she still intends to go volunteering – no matter what Ellen says. Chloe tries to explain how she feels when she helps someone until she snaps under Ellen’s interruptions, ‘I’d rather die there, save lives, than die a slow, agonising death here with you.’
The tension between them rises with the tears this confession brings up past haunts like the death of Chloe’s father, and Ellen neglecting her late husband in favour of claiming social status. These wrenching accusations cause Ellen to reveal a long hidden secret to her daughter – that Chloe’s father was a binge drinker, which was the primary cause of his liver failure. These new revelations and suggestive comments push mother and daughter to breaking point – until Ellen bottoms out, ‘You’re determined to leave, regardless, aren’t you?’ Two months later, Chloe is due to land at the airport but Ellen is not there.
The forest is a special place for Ellen and Chloe. A place where ‘nothing is ever bad here’. Both women find themselves there, anxiously calling for each other. Yet, tragically, both are searching in the wrong direction.
March 12, 2018