The notion of a collective death or rapture can be very attractive to those who live a very solitary life. The protagonist of my film lives by herself, she has alienated her family, and she keeps her neighbors out by triple bolting her door. She is able to find solace through her church where her Pastor preaches that those who love God will be raptured collectively. The predicted day is December 12th, 2012 at noon (220.127.116.11). The protagonist has a dream the day of the expected apocalypse and is certain the Pastor’s prediction is correct. However, when she calls the Pastor in preparation to come to the church, he unexpectedly insists on the solitude of the rapture for unexplained reasons. This film shows the behavior of the protagonist in her inner fight between certainty and doubt.
I wanted to make a film that avoided the question of “is the apocalypse going to happen?” and instead observed the behavior of someone who believed that it was coming. Coincidentally, the film Take Shelter is very similar in that it observes Michael Shannon’s character in his increasing belief in a destructive storm without proposing any solid statement regarding the apocalypse.
I used Charles Strozier’s chapters from his book The Fundamentalist Mindset as a foundation for my character’s behavior. My film does not go into depth to portray the paranoia and binary mentality, but there are a few clues. In her prayer in the morning, the protagonist prays to continue to oppose those that reject God. The telephone call with the mother is a key insight to her paranoia and binary mentality. Her mother is an obvious source of doubt for her, causing her rejection of her mother to be especially strong. Her paranoia is portrayed in her fear of a social life and the fear of the outside. It’s a big step for her to unlock her door and go to the roof where she was instructed to expect the rapture.
I didn’t want to give the audience a clue as to whether or not the rapture occurred. I also did not want to critique this mentality or the belief in the apocalypse so I tried to simulate an observation on this behavior based on the information provided by Strozier. To ensure distinct feeling of solitude, it was also important for the film that it was filmed alone. Yes, many films about solitude are shot with a crew of fifty people, but, this being a small production, I thought it was important that this film be a one-woman-show. Having an apartment to myself to play with the camera and the concept allowed me to find images and ideas that I never expected. I have never made a film before and I learned a ton.