Sunday Short Theatre – I Was Still There When You Left Me (2020)

Nothing more heart breaking than a story inspired by real life tragedy. This week’s Sunday Short Theatre, I Was Still There When You Left Me is a 23 minute drama dealing with guilt in the face of calamity.

While her tower block is burning, Lila a 7 year-old-girl is consumed by guilt thinking she started the fire.

I know I am not alone when I say when I watched this film automatically it reminded of the tragic events of The Grenfell Towers in London. Director Marie McCourt was in a similar frame of mind when she was creating the story for her film shaped her story, the narrative did change after collapse of a building in Marseille, France in 2018.

“The major theme of I was still there when you left me is abandonment and I see this tower as a shameful symbol of how the system fails to protect a part of its population”

This film is a character driven film that  and the emotional impact centres on Lilia. Like any disaster the first question we always ask ‘who is to blame for this?’

As the system is difficult to materialize as a character, we wrote a story in which a little girl sets fire to her building, so that we could evacuate the question of her responsibility. Who’s the real culprit?

We really feel Lila’s pain and what consequences who is responsible could face. Like any of these tragic real stories there is always something the powers to be could have done to prevent tragedy happening. Whilst I try not to get political on the site, when it comes Grenfell Towers fire the current government should be ashamed of themselves how they handled things.

One thing we mustn’t ignore is Karim a neighbour who becomes the hero of the story, saving Lila from the turmoil protecting her. Comforting her which brings the innocence and a reminder she’s a child, haunting and terrifying to see this event from a child’s perspective.

Source: Short Film Of The Week