A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. ...
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A descent into Hell is triggered when "Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he must leave Longleigh House for London to find a way to pay for the medical treatments for his wife Nancy. Alone, his over-protected, delusional, adult son, James, fancies himself in charge of the manor house with his terminally ill mother, and barricades the two of them into the house for a series of ever more panicked home treatments, mistakenly protecting her from the arrival of Nurse Mary and any outside help. Written by
The film is dedicated to the memory of Sheila and David Rumley, parents of director Simon Rumley. Three months after his father had passed away from a heart attack, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. She died three months later. See more »
Hello? Hello? Yes, yes I know. No, I didn't know that. No, that's not good at all. No, she doesn't know. Hmm. Hmm. Exactly. Okay, goodbye.
They going to make it?
No, they're not.
Can I look after mummy this time.
I'm not going away.
But you always say that, you always do.
Some one's at the door!
Stop James, I said stop!
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Imagine a retelling of "The Shining" (1980) by Stanley Kubrick - but instead of Steven King's menacing snow storm and ghosts of the dead at the Overlook Hotel - this nuclear family is threatened by the bankruptcy of the landed aristocracy by health care, death by terminal cancer, and an over-protected adult son who is permanently child-like and requires vast infusions of anti-psychotics. Add to this helplessness, depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, and an oedipal-complex repressed by English manners, and you have the explosive makings for "The Living and the Dead" (2006).
Kubrick's famous emotional distance from the story is replaced by Rumley's intense personal need to pull the audience into the madness which modern medicine creates with false hopes and budget efficiencies, and especially, its patent inability to assist the emotional needs of both the terminal patient and their families. Rumley succeeds where others fear to tread by plunging the audience into the thick of it.
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