2010, 90 minutes
Contemporary coming of age drama
Verity’s Summer is a contemporary set coming of age drama. The story of a young woman’s journey from the security of childhood to the compromises of adulthood and moral ambiguities of love. It is also an intimate portrayal of a family coming to terms with the traumas and violence of distant war that are brought back home. On a hot summer day, two young people make their way to a quiet town on the wild Northumberland coast. Sixteen year-old Verity is coming home from boarding school. Castle is a late twenty year-old drifter, demobilised from the army and sleeping rough along the coast. Though their paths never cross, their lives become intertwined. At first, the summer holidays offer Verity the chance to get drunk with her friends in the city, go swimming and sunbathing. Even fall in love with a young Polish immigrant working as a taxi driver. Her parents – Anne and Jim – are proud of how their daughter is growing up, though they worry about her. Jim is a local CID policeman. His love for Verity and Anne seems tinged with a sadness and anger. Anne is a university professor, a pragmatic mother, somewhat uncomfortable expressing her affection for Verity. As Verity and Castle orbit closer and closer towards each other, the loving spaces between Verity, Anne and Jim are eroded by acrimonious silence. What happened to Jim during his foreign police service in the war? Why doesn’t Anne want to know? When Castle’s dead body washes up on the coast and Jim is tasked to lead the investigation, Jim’s experience during the war and occupation begin to emerge. At the end of the story, Verity must come to terms with her father’s failure to stop the torture and beating of prisoners and her mother’s silent knowledge of Jim’s self guilt. Verity must understand what it means to her as a daughter and an individual. As she runs towards the ocean, the open horizon offers a hopeful vision, a different way of being and acting in the world.