In John Flynn’s short film, Elegy, new parents Catherine (Jeanine Bartel) and Daniel’s (Eliud Kauffman) happiest day turns into a tragic nightmare. Not long after giving birth, Catherine’s baby is kidnapped, nowhere to be located. After the briefest of backstories, the film actually picks up sixteen years later when their daughter, Veronica (Liggera Edmonds-Allen), has been found by the authorities and returned to Catherine and Daniel.
Elegy simply explores the possibilities of “what would happen if.” What would happen if your long-lost child returned to you as a 16-year-old and knew nothing of you? Everything starts cordially. Catherine is excited about finally being with the daughter she gave birth to so long ago. Veronica, who grew up as “Cait,” finds herself disoriented, having lived one life and thrust into a vastly new world filled with strangers, including her biological parents. For Veronica/Cait, the mom who is now in jail was the mother she had known all her life. Now that’s been taken away.
“Not long after giving birth, Catherine’s baby is stolen, nowhere to be located.”
Elegy is different than most shorts. While there is a narrative element, writer/director Flynn explores two opposing sides of trying to make sense of an intense situation neither asked for. Catherine and Daniel long for what should have been, while Veronica/Cait longs for what she’s known all her life. The story’s grand complication comes in Catherine’s insistence that the kidnapper be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Flynn wisely chooses not to take sides. As a result, we have a true moral dilemma, and we, as observers, know that both sides are right. Watch Elegy and see if you can figure out who is right or wrong, or both.
"…see if you can figure out who is right or wrong, or both."