Surrender is a short film written and shot by me (Ben Holbrook) on the Gower peninsula in South Wales during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Performed by Welsh actress Sarah Tempest, it explores the internal battles many of us have fought, while hinting at the juxtaposition of countless lives being devastated against a backdrop of spring in full bloom.
Please note that the original piece I wrote for Surrender was much longer than what I ended up using in the film. You can read the full version below.
We’ll be ok. There’s the garden, the beach, the park. They can’t take that away from us, can they?
We have everything we need. It’ll be good for us all, this time to reflect.
This time to not be needed or relied upon.
No pressure. No lines.
Nowhere to be, and all the time to be there…
I can work, I can think.
We still have all this.
How is it 5.45pm already? What day is it again?
How did we ever manage to get things done before, back when there were things to be done?
Remember when there were things to be done?
At least the sun is shining.
This is my idea of pain. This mess. I hate it.
Another cup of tea. Another coffee. I let them go cold.
Is this the start or the end?
The days are not all the same. They do not blur into one, they simply fail to start or end. Or worse, they end before they start.
I need to work. I should be working.
No, you shouldn’t say ‘should’, you should say ‘could’.
There are so many things I could be doing, but I am not, and here I am. Stagnating.
Surely this isn’t real?
Who’s to blame for all this?
India too? Even Russia? No chaos, no ice creams on the prom, no fuzzy Friday feelings.
We really are all the same, aren’t we? Every man an island. Adrift.
I read, I eat, I sleep.
I take this seriously.
I keep my distance.
We’re all in this together.
How do we go back?
Should we go back?
More have died. Many, many more. More than we know.
This is all becoming normal. Almost a thousand a day now.
But the sheep still bleat, the birds still tweet. Spring is in bloom, the sky vast and open.
Life goes on. I’ll still sleep tonight.
I am…. my limited imagination.
I miss the chaos.
I miss the unknown.
I miss my responsibilities and those forced upon me.
I miss my family and friends, who are 4.7 miles away, 8.4 miles away, 11.5 miles away.
Can you imagine the parties once all this is over?
I’m losing track. I’m off course. Where were we going, anyway?
Are we moving forwards now, or backwards? Are we even moving at all?
But at least there’s you, my rock to cling to. My shipwreck to plunder.
I try again.
I ride the wave.
I count my lucky stars.
I take stock.
I question it all.
I stay home.
Dedicated to the key workers who are risking their lives to get us through the Coronavirus crisis.
Thank you for watching. I’d love to hear how it made you feel, and if you resonated with any of it.