Strasburg Film Festival presents The Undiscovered Country, which follows a young woman, still reeling from her mother’s suicide. She wrestles with her grief in increasingly erratic ways and is tormented by mysterious visions, which seem to be channeled to her — by her mother’s ghost. She abandons everything to pursue these cryptic clues contained in the visions. As she becomes deeply enmeshed in her mother’s troubled past, the boundaries of her identity begin to blur — and she realizes that the ghost has far darker intentions for her than she could have ever imagined.
The Undiscovered Country will be shown on Saturday, November the 10th, 10:30 AM at Strasburg Town Hall. Tickets can be found on the film’s event page.
Tim O’Connor is a filmmaker and actor living in New York City. Currently, he works as a producer and writer on the television series A CRIME TO REMEMBER on Investigation Discovery. His last short film, FIVE HARD LESSONS, premiered at LA Shorts Fest and won the IFP Audience Award and Faculty Honors at the Columbia University Film Festival. His screenplay BLUESHIFT won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Screenplay competition. He graduated from Vassar College and received an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University in 2017. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is his first feature film.
Soaked in influences like Robert Altman, Lucrecia Martel, Nicolas Roeg and Elena Ferrante, we set out with a tiny budget and a dedicated team to craft an experience that is strange, thought-provoking and bold.
We combined fluid, zoom-heavy camera language with frenetic hand-held shots to visually express the contradictory psychology of our main character, Grace. Meanwhile, we indicate the intensity and richness of that psychology with saturated, colorful lighting. The sometimes frantic, sometimes measured editing style again emphasizes Grace’s fractured state of mind.
The Undiscovered Country is a meditation on love, loss and grieving; a journey centered on the complicated relationships we have with our parents. This is a story about how irrational grief can be, how mourning can isolate us from those we’re closest to. It’s about how closely the love between children and their mothers is often inextricably tied to disappointment and unattainable expectations. But more than anything else, I see it as a love song to the difficult people in our lives, the ones who confuse, frustrate, infuriate us. Understanding and empathizing with someone like Grace, as the movie strives to do, allows us to access those anarchic feelings we all have—the desire to seek out darkness, to burn everything down, to transform into something entirely new.
I hope Grace manages to stick in your head for a while, as she did in mine.