A Screenplay by Eva Adams
Genre: Drama, Romance, Adventure
Setting: 2007 - London and Chamonix, France, 1997/8 - Singapore
Format: 90 minute feature film
Logline: A recent widow and her two young children drive to the French Alps to scatter her husband’s ashes on the mountain he loved most. She’s not sure this is even allowed or how she will do it, but she knows that her own peace will only come when he is ‘free’.
Tagline: Finding life after death
Target Audience: Adult/YA
Hadley, a young widow sets off from London for Chamonix in the French Alps with her two children, William (7) and Maddie (4). She plans to scatter her husband’s ashes there as it was his dying wish, but she is haunted by memories and fears letting him go.
She worries about the effect the loss of their father will have on her children and is overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility she must now shoulder alone.
During the long drive from London to Chamonix, Hadley reminisces about how she first met Xin, her late husband. She is also tormented with repeated images of his ‘cancer face’ at the end.
They arrive in Chamonix and stay at family friend's chalet. James, and his wife Penny, knew Xin well and although initially unsure how to handle things, very soon realise that Hadley wants to talk about Xin, and provide much needed support and friendship.
There is one more person in the chalet, Eddie, an old friend of James’s. Hadley isn’t happy that he’s there as she suspects Penny is trying to matchmake, and it feels far too early.
On the day of the scattering, a storm forces Hadley to change plans and scatter Xin’s ashes on a different mountain. Getting the ashes up the mountain produces a bit of black humour as Hadley doesn’t want to get ‘caught’ illegally scattering them. They decide to take Xin up in a backpack, leading Eddie to remark, ‘this is the first time I’ve been a human hearse’.
The ashes are finally scattered, making the snow appear black, and Hadley ‘sees’ and ‘talks’ to her late husband. It’s the first time since he died that she sees his happy, healthy face rather than the shrunken cancer one that has been haunting her.
James, Penny and Eddie go back to London leaving Hadley in the chalet alone with her children for a few more days. The three of them are now more at ease and enjoy skiing and walking around Chamonix together. Just as things seem to be getting better, an out of control skier crashes into Hadley leaving her with a torn ligament. This sets her back and she finds it increasingly difficult to deal with her grief and the needs of her children.
By the end, Hadley realises that in order to start living again she will have to let her husband go, along with some of the bad habits she’s fallen into like drinking. As they start their return journey the family are somehow closer and more optimistic.
About Eva Adams
I am ‘Hadley’. This is a true story based on my own search to find meaning in life after the death of my husband. He died in 2007 after a year’s battle with cancer at the age of just 36. I still miss him everyday, but writing this screenplay helped bring him back to me. I wrote this in the hope that it may help others in similar situations realise that life can not only continue after traumatic events, but can in fact be good again.
Black Snow was my first screenplay.