It’s a story about family. It’s a story about death. It’s a story about estranged sisters. It’s a story about awkward moments in the worst moments of life.
In setting out to create the story of Parting Gifts, the goal was always to capture a slice of life after death in all of its glorious complications. Relationships with the dead, while they were living always seem to be skewed by society after the person is gone. It is no longer proper to call that person awful. They’re dead. You can’t say that about a dead person. But what if that person truly was awful? What if that person betrayed everything that you held most dear, and ruined your childhood? Then do you have the right to speak ill of the dead? Of course not. They’re still dead.
And what if the person who shows up on your doorstep and asks you to come home is the person who you were groomed to hate, who loved someone you hated, who stands against everything you believe- and yet is your family. What do you do in that situation?
Parting Gifts is a story of absolute extremes. Extremes in awkward moments. Extremes in exposing emotion. Extremes in requests and desires. And yet, it is almost painfully close to real life.
When Alex shows up on Camille’s doorstep, she has no reason to believe that Camille will come back with her. And yet, despite all logic, she still shows up to ask her estranged sister to come home. Death has a way of corrupting any sense of logic we may bear throughout the rest of our lives.
Similarly, Camille has no reason to let her sister in the door. She hates her sister. She never intended on seeing her again. Camille did not go to her own father’s funeral to avoid seeing her sister and the family she can’t stand. And yet, Camille lets Alex in the door. Why? Is it love? Is it a brief moment of caring? Curiosity?
Death has a way of changing everything.