A married couple living in a remote farmhouse are interrupted by a stranger, who is taken prisoner by the husband and interrogated for reasons the stranger doesn't readily understand. Their lives are irrevocably changed once the truth of their history is revealed to each other.
Interview with Director Cornelia Moore
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
We made West of Redemption because Tony Becerra, with whom we have done many projects, brought us a truly astonishing script by Meagan Daine, and it so moved us emotionally that we set aside the three things we had been working on to make this one. We developed the script with her for a year and a half before it was ready to shoot. It was a really fun process, as this was the first script I had directed that I did not write myself. It was actually rather freeing. And I enjoyed exploring the mind and vision of another, quite different, female writer.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
This film is a taut drama about a loving husband who, when his quiet farm life is interrupted one rainy evening, takes a stranger hostage and interrogates him, unwinding a complicated web of mysteries in the process. I was attracted to the story it because to me, it's unusual to find this kind of compelling interpersonal intensity in a movie that is basically a three-charter story; it's about the way their lives interweave. It makes my heart ache in a very good way.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
We have all had that one relationship; that one that shattered us and remade us into new people that will never be the same again. This is that sort of a story; about the roots of love that go so deep into our souls that our spirits take on a new color and texture; the kind where we risk losing it because we want it so much; it changes our spiritual DNA.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The year and a half of writing work were the first act of our production, but, as with many movies, the most intense transformation of our story happened through the shooting and editing processes. A lot of how I make films is very collaborative; I honor the voice of the writer, and her script, very exhaustively in pre-pro and in rehearsal, so that when the time comes to shoot, I can be in some ways more improvisational in the moment, as, if you will, the nest for the egg that contains the story to hatch in has been carefully built. And we all help it break its shell and grow up and fly, together. It's tremendously exciting, and well worth the (usually) years of prep that I seem to have to go through for every story I do.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We have gotten tremendous feedback from viewers so far, and popularity-based festival awards in the USA and UK. Folks seem to be as astonished at how good the story is, and how absorbing the narrative becomes, as I was initially, which of course pleases us greatly!
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback always provides some unrelated new insights, but the truth is that those surprises should rear their heads during early preview screenings. The remaining feedback that recurs is usually a small variation of the viewer perhaps not paying close attention to the carefully-woven fabric of the story.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
We are just beginning the process of exposing the movie to distributors and sales agents throughout the world.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We would love to see the film available to as many filmgoers as possible, particularly those with an appreciation for a universal story told with honest emotion and intelligent performances.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What is the nature of love? What is the true nature of fidelity? How long should a person wait to see if his or her love is returned before moving on? What is a vow, and how if made, does it bind us?
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
We have optioned two books that we are not yet at liberty to talk about, but we hope to begin shooting one of the two early next year.
Interview: September 2016