Tobey

Isolated in rural England, a teenage girl is forced to confront the recent death of her mother.

Director’s Statement

Tobey captures the challenges and struggles of a twelveyear-old girl to accept the reality of her mother’s death. Unable to acknowledge the harsh nature of life, her behavior has slowly turned into a rebellion against her emotionally wounded family. To escape the household, she explores the wilderness of the surroundings with her pet chicken Tobey, her only friend left in her isolated world. Her alienation is a cry for attention.

For me, this film is an exploration of the complexity of family ties following a tragic death and the effect that a particular physical space has on them. The father’s decision to move to the countryside, into a beautiful but isolated environment, only enhances the emotional distance between all characters as they find themselves forced to reevaluate their identities without the mother.

Losing a parent in one’s teenage years is an extremely misunderstood account. Having been through this as a child, I am only beginning to grasp its impact on myself. At its core, this story is a powerful identity crisis seen through a juvenile’s need for recognition and affection – magnified through a little girl’s journey into women hood.