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SeeingHumanPictures - Sheila Jordan: filmmaker, writer, actress SeeingHumanPictures - Pender Island, BC

Award-winning documentary filmmaker and screenwriter Sheila Jordan is successfully turning her hand to screen drama. Her script "Kathleen's Closet" won one of five National Screen Institute's 2004 drama prizes.

Jordan's winning script, written in her studio on Pender Island, is the story of an elderly woman's last night and the young nurse who helps her leave with dignity and grace. The film will be shot in the fall of 2004 and will air on CBC in 2005.

Below is a short excerpt from the script. The entire script may be downloaded as a .pdf file by clicking here. To read the .pdf file you will need Acrobat Reader - a free download from Adobe. Click here for Acrobat Reader download.

Kathleen's Closet
by Sheila Jordan

SOUND UNDER of a woman's voice singing a German operetta.
JANET EDMUNDS (24), rides a bike down a silent road.
It's raining. Her attire is part Grunge, part Goth, and part Francaise and has obviously been assembled at Value Village. She wears a short skirt, multicolored tights, short jacket and tight t-shirt, black high-cropped army boots, two wrists full of bracelets, and many chains. She has several piercings and a few strategically placed tattoos. Her black hair is in a French bob, a la Amelie. The road leads to the bottom of some rickety stairs. She mounts them, lightning flashes. A huge, eerie home looms. Janet bolts for the door. The rain slashes down. She rings the doorbell. It doesn't work. She waits a moment and then enters silently through glass doors.
She finds herself in an enormous front room. Two Victorian high- backed chairs and tiffany lamps sit regally in front of a crackling fire. Dead center is a giant four-poster bed with a canopy. On the bed, asleep, under a mountainous feather duvet, lies KATHLEEN WILSON (100). Her long white hair is spread out on the lace pillows. A closer look reveals how frail and withered she is. CHRIS MACDONALD (40ish), sits in one of the chairs, listening to the operetta through his CD walkman. He looks up, startled, and shuts off the music.

I'm sorry. The doorbell doesn't work.

You're Janet?

Chris does not shake Janet's outstretched hand. He heads over to a giant antique cabinet and retrieves a towel, handing it to Janet.

Kathleen had a bad fall, there were complications, then pneumonia. She's been unconscious for days. Just a catheter and mouth care at this point. She's in the final stages.

Has her family been called?

I'm the closest thing to family she has. You do understand that she could die tonight?

Janet nods.