Losing a young child is a horrifying situation for parents. But, when a child goes missing, the feeling of terror and loss feels like it will never stop. Kevin Stevenson and Eileen Grubba’s short film, Dark Hearts, looks at the long-term effects this tragic event has on a couple.
For once loving parents Kelly (Eileen Grubba) and Sean (Brian Gleason), their marriage has reached its breaking point. It’s been months after the disappearance of their only child. Kelly has not given up hope and continues to print and post missing posters around the city. On the other hand, Sean lets reality set in and knows that his daughter is gone for good. What the two have in common is that tragedy has led both to drinking. Dark Hearts picks up with Sean, now sober for quite some time, resolved to reason with Kelly that she needs to move on.
“…been months after the disappearance of their only child. Kelly has not given up hope…”
Writer and lead actor Eileen Grubba’s story spotlights the opposing emotions and tensions that arise in a tragic situation. For Kelly, she refuses to give up even when conventional wisdom says there is no hope, and because life can not move on, alcohol is her only comfort. Sean also knows how paralyzing loss can be and resolves to get back to a normal life. Well, as normal as it can be anyways. In the most stinging moment of the film, there’s the guilt and blame Kelly and Sean put on themselves and one another.
The empathetic storytelling of Dark Hearts makes no judgments while inspiring hope when all is hopeless.
"…empathetic storytelling...makes no judgments..."