Ellie Goulding sits on the windowsill of the remains of her childhood home, watching the leaves fall. Wearing a black veil and black dress, she grieves for her father, who is turned into stone on the floor. She looks to him, his body hunched over. She walks over to him and puts her hand near his face.
In a field of dandelions, she thinks of her father taking them out for bike rides. He would ride on the handlebars. She taught him how to play the piano. When she had to get a shot from the doctor, he was there to joke with her.
He often drew the flowers in the field with a pencil on pieces of paper. He stopped one day, after he noticed flames singing his fingers. From the ash, he colored in the sun.
During the funeral for their mother, they walked alongside their father, with uncles and cousins following behind them after burial. Reliving the moment on the steps, she thinks of how she knew it was her turn to take care of both of them now.
As he flesh burned and deteriorated, he sculpted sea shells and sailboats for her. His hands would be fire while played piano for their father, who would gaze out the window. However, he didn’t know how to control it. The flame would reach farther each time. He clenched his teeth in pain. In the morning, she would hear a scream as he looked at his darkened arms.
She touches the dandelions with her black, lacy gloves. He walked through the dandelions, wishing that a touch would take away the fire.
As a teenager, she would carry her books and he would walk behind her as they walked over the bridge to their home. However, fights would break out among the men in the family, blaming one another for the curse.
He would shout, his voice reverberating throughout the house, as his entire body was engulfed in flames. Then, the flames would stop and he would be out for a while. He would awake as though nothing had happened, his flesh new. He stands up in the family room, strong and proud, while the early morning sunlight peeks through the window.
One morning, her brother and their two cousins woke up, ash over their bodies.
She dances in the dandelions in her black dress.
A tiny flame sparks between his fingers, then his shoulders and below his left eye.
She exchanges one final look at him while in the dandelion field before he turns back.
Growing up, she was protective of her brother. Creative and intelligent, the natural fire which burned inside him, seemed to come from something within, something she couldn’t begin to understand.
However, she learned all the males in her family had it. Her father had been able to control it. The subsequent guilt over their mother’s death, though, made her wonder if he accidentally caused it. He was distant and would pick fights with her brother if he mentioned the flames.
After his body burned, he would be unconscious for a few hours. As he got older, it became days. After three months, she believed he turned into stone forever and began to grieve for him.
She visited the dandelion field, wanting the innocence of her childhood back and she saw him, his body whole again. He didn’t seem to know who she was. She wonders if he was truly made human again or he was a spirit, saying goodbye one last time.
Director: Matthew Cullen Year: 2017
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