Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire
On Show 2020
Darragh Scott

In the latter half of the nineteenth century on the frontier of the United States, a civil war veteran embarks on a treacherous journey to reunite an orphaned Native American baby with her tribe. The film takes place over a single night in the wake of a brutal massacre exacted on a Native American encampment. Samuel, a tall and weathered man entering old age, settles for the evening in his quaint farmhouse. Drawn outside by a mysterious noise he finds a Native American woman mortally wounded on his porch, before passing away she imparts to him her infant child. Sam endeavors to return the child to her people. He and the baby set out into the night unaware of the sinister and malevolent forces that await them. The film itself is uses Rotoscope animation techniques and the motif of chalk on a blackboard to communicate the shifting and elusive transitory nature of its central aesthetic. The image is fading and decaying, as is the history it represents. Without the reminder of the mistakes in our past, we are certain to perpetuate the cycles of violence still endemic to societies across the globe. The film centers on the idea of regret and responsibility, the appealing comfort of forgetting. However, the certainty is that no matter how deeply we attempt to bury the issues of our time, they will inevitably find their way to our doorstep.