Synopsis: Aaron was a victim of sexual abuse as a child and has lived for more than half his life with the burden of this dark secret. As a result of this he has had to adjust to a life where the physical demon of his trauma is with him everywhere he goes. When a police investigation is launched into his abuser, he becomes conflicted between carrying on with life socially imprisoned by this monster or coming forward about what happened to him and subsequently confronting his demon head on.
Norvydas Gisleris (The Monster)
The inspiration for this film came from personal experience, I myself am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and lived with the secret for almost ten years until I was
approached by the police shortly before I turned 21. Whilst going through this something that stood out to me was that whilst the events of the abuse themselves are incredibly detrimental and traumatic, there is also so much added mental stress and psychological harm caused by not being able to speak about what happened, and this is what the vast majority of victims will go through. As well as the fact I started to realise that generally when the topic is covered in film and TV, most of the attention is given to the abuse itself. Rightly so, this needs to be explored and is important for audiences to be exposed to, however now I feel that we should be also
looking into what the majority of victims endure for years afterwards. This is where the idea of living with your monster stemmed from. For me the idea of coming forward was 100% not an option for so long, instead I thought I could just learn to live with it. So one of my aims was to try and reflect this in Aaron’s relationship with the monster, it’s an unhealthy burden that he has decided to try and co-exist with.
Throughout the course of the film we see Aaron start to understand that how he has coped up until now isn’t going to work as a long term solution and something
needs to be done.
The process of writing this story was incredibvly therapeutic for myself and whilst it’s a semi-personal account of one person’s experience, I believe it’s applicable to many so people who are living with something in silence, and for those who aren’t it’s a chance to understand what someone can be experiencing internally despite seeming fine on the surface. This is why I believe the film deserves an audience, especially today when society is slowly starting to make progress on topics such as these. This helped to drive us in making the film as we felt there was a chance that it could have a really long-lasting effect on someone out there who was going through something similar. In film and media we need to find ways to reach out to those who are suffering in silence, and help them to feel safe enough to come forward. As someone who is in a position of knowledge on the issue I would like to reach out to victims through the use of film to help them
Hector is a 23 year-old filmmaker from the UK, and a recent graduate from The University for the Creative Arts with a BA Hons in Film Production. Hector went to film school with the ambition of one day becoming a production designer, however whilst studying he found new interests for other aspects such as directing and editing. After making two short documentaries, and winning best documentary at Wimbledon International Short Film Festival for Not an Excuse (2018), he tried his hand at writing. This quickly lead to his new passion for fiction filmmaking.