“Pursuit of Loneliness” is writer-director Lawrence Thrush’s second feature. His first, Japanese language “Left Handed” (2008) screened several festivals and won Best Feature awards at Milan, Japan, Rhode Island and L’Aquila. Thrush was born and raised in London and got his start as an assistant to film editor Peter Goddard, during whose employ he also began shooting his own shorts, music videos and commercials. From there, he began making docs, including “Fidel’s Fight,” which screened in competition at Karlovy Vary and Doubletake Documentary Film Festivals. Thrush is now in pre-production on “Vessels,” which is set in India and about surrogacy and medial tourism.
What’s it about? When an elderly woman dies in a Los Angeles county hospital with no known next of kin, four strangers search for her family.
Director Thrush says: “This screenplay originated from an incident that my girlfriend told me had happened to her at work. Being a nurse and on call, she was called into work in the middle of the night and seeing as she could not leave her young daughter alone by herself in the apartment, she took her with her to the hospital. The daughter was told to wait in the nurses office while her mother attended to the patient that she had been called in to perform an ultrasound exam for. Whilst waiting for her mother, the daughter could hear a patient calling out repeatedly for water, yet no one came to his aid. The daughter was struck by how sad it was that this elderly, infirm man had no one to attend to this most basic of needs.
“My intention was to make a film that examines what happens to people who have no one to care for them. Taking this to the extreme, I invented a scenario where an elderly patient dies alone in a hospital, with no next of kin, no friends or family to contact. The subsequent search for next of kin sets in motion a mystery that touches upon the idea that in the United States you can lose all contact with family and friends until no one knows or cares if you even exist.
“I would like the audience to feel that there is some truth to the film and to remember it, so that even days after the screening the mood of the film and the characters resonate and linger in the memory.”
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