Based on a true story
By Cameron Krogh Stone
Producers Guy de Beaujeu
Screenplay Cameron Krogh Stone
A story based on a real road trip Cameron made with his
sister and family.
Ayana is a 20 year old British-Ethiopian woman with autism longing for independence. But childhood trauma experienced in Sweden has left her trapped in the past. She spends her days contemplating revenge against the kids who bullied her, stuck at home in London with her hot headed, pill-pushing father David (who suffers from mild Asperger’s), her overprotective mother Amibesa and fluffy dog Lucky.
Her irresponsible elder brother Jonny returns from backpacking shortly before her grandparents’ golden wedding anniversary weekend. Ayana learns of a class reunion happening the same weekend in Stockholm - an opportunity for some closure with the past.
Her parents refuse to take her so Ayana packs her bag and convinces Jonny to abscond with her. It’s Jonny’s first extended exposure to the reality of Ayana’s fraught condition. They make it chaotically to St Pancras, but Ayana has a panic attack and they miss their train. Their parents must pick up the pieces and take them to their grandparents, but Ayana is hellbent on going to Stockholm - she HAS to confront her old bullies. Finally convinced, Amibesa sides with Ayana, enraging David and jeopardising their marriage.
Eventually David is persuaded a road trip is all that will suffice and they set off. As they drive through Northern Europe Ayana contemplates her revenge, they play games and bicker.
The family overnights with their judgemental Auntie Hawi in Copenhagen where Ayana’s mission and future are put into question by her unsympathetic aunt, deeply bruising Ayana's confidence.
The family drive on to Stockholm the next morning, fighting and bickering, further jeopardising their mission. They make it to Stockholm just in time for the reunion, but Ayana has a meltdown. Now, almost for the first time, David steps in and gives her the strength to persevere.
Jonny takes Ayana to the party which is on a boat and it’s sailed. Ayana discovers that Mona, her primary target for revenge, has suffered a terrible accident and isn’t attending. Ayana is completely floored. She runs off to a small beach and steps into the water fully clothed, suddenly seeing her whole life in a new perspective. With a new mission in mind Ayana emerges and convinces a young sailor to take them out to the boat.
Ayana is greeted with warmth and love by her old classmates, who get her drunk and side-tracked. When she finally spots the bullies she tries to speak to them, but is rudely rejected. Ayana is devastated and all her demons threaten to reappear. She thinks her mission has failed.
But just as all hope seems lost, she is invited to give a speech in front of everyone. It is almost impossible for her, but she screws up all her courage and finally speaks out, moving the room to tears and cheers. At long last a huge weight is lifted off Ayana’s shoulders. The bullies are vanquished.
There is hope
© Fluidity Films 2023