KISMET

Feature screenplay by Gabrielle Russell

Drama 110 min

A young British Asian mother struggles to determine her own destiny.

Aisha (23) has always lived her life for other people, being a good daughter, agreeing to an arranged marriage, bearing a son and caring for her elderly mother-in–law. But five years later, she has forgotten who she is. Depressed and alienated from her husband, her marriage is under strain and she is bullied by her mother-in–law. One day, on impulse, she takes her son and runs away. Finding refuge with a friend in London, she tries to start again, but her husband is tracking her down and she is forced into hiding. She experiences a profound emotional detachment from her son and neglects him. Faced with her inadequacies as a mother, and disowned by her own mother, she attempts to escape her old life entirely, leaving her son behind. She tells her husband where to find him, takes a train and disappears. Overwhelmed by guilt, Aisha invites the punishment she thinks she deserves and attempts suicide, but miraculously, she survives. This ‘sign’ that Allah wants her to live, provokes her emotional awakening, an epiphany in which Aisha realises how much she loves her son. She returns, just in time to witness her son being taken by her husband. Desperate to get her son back, she goes to the police and is reunited with him. Fearful of honour violence, she goes on the run, attempting to smuggle him out of the country. But she is arrested by Border Police who contact her husband who bails her out. Faced with a choice of starting again with her son placed in care; or returning home together with him and her husband, she chooses to return to her family and face the consequences.

SHORTLISTED by MICROWAVE Film London’s First Feature Scheme 2012