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By Anthony Lucas

GENRE: Drama

A young girl embarks on a quest to solve a forty year old treasure hunt in her own home in the hope it will lead her and her mother out of an abusive relationship.


London, 1985. Jane and her daughter Maddy must tiptoe through life in order to avoid upsetting husband and father, David, who is prone to violent outbursts. After Maddy accidentally smashes David’s late grandmother’s vase, Jane takes the blame and Maddy is sent outside to “play” while David discusses the incident with Jane. Maddy has had to do this many times before and runs directly to the garden shed, which she has fashioned into her own space. After watching the beatings begin through the kitchen window, Maddy cowers beside a workbench where she finds a small tin box with a note inside. The note was written in 1940, by a young girl, Catherine, and states that she is confined to home, due to an illness, and has created a treasure hunt game for anybody who discovers the note.

The first clue leads Maddy up into the attic, but Jane soon confronts her daughter as to why she is up there. Maddy shows Jane the note and convinces her to help search for the treasure. They eventually find it, an old black and white photo of Catherine and her family, along with the next clue. But before they can continue their search, they must clean up and prepare David’s dinner for his arrival home from work, as is David’s want.

After dinner, David discovers a grubby hand print on the upstairs wall and berates Jane and Maddy before sending Maddy to bed so that he can again beat Jane.

During the middle of that night, Maddy follows the second clue, which leads her to the storage under the stairs but this is not a silent pursuit and David interrupts and forces her to spend the rest of the night in the closet under the stairs while he severely beats Jane for allowing such an unruly child.

Although David does attempt an apology at some point, it doesn’t last long and Jane decides to distract Maddy from David’s behaviour by encouraging her to learn more about Catherine and maybe even return her treasures.

After several visits to the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Maddy discovers that Catherine moved to her cousin’s house by the seaside, and she proposes to her mother that they follow Catherine’s trail and get away from David before he does them more harm. Jane eventually agrees.

While David is out at the game, Maddy and Jane pack their bags and leave. David returns home to find an empty house and Maddy’s, diary where she chronicled her exploits, and he heads off in pursuit.

When Jane and Maddy arrive at the seaside they search for Catherine’s cousin, but David catches up and attempts to drag Jane back to the car, even after she reveals she is pregnant. The police arrive and arrest David and now Jane and Maddy are able to take a solid step toward starting a new life without the looming threat of violence.


View screenplay
Nathaniel Baker

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