“Are your genes your own destiny?”
This is the question being put forward through a new short film from Emily Lawrence (known by many as the voice of over 125 audiobooks). The film, Lilith in the Garden, aims to tell the story of a scientist and a clone of his deceased wife, who ultimately struggles to understand just who she is and who she is meant to be.
Here’s the full synopsis:
Lilith in the Garden is about a scientist who clones his late wife. He longs for what he’s lost, desperately trying to ignore the fact that this perfect copy he’s created will never be the real thing. She’s trying to understand her new existence and discern her own identity while living in the shadow of what she once was. It asks questions about what makes us who we are. Is it possible to break free from our nature? Are our genes our destiny, or is there more to us than that?
This project has the potential to take a very introspective look at identity and destiny – two themes that have seen prevalence across countless art forms and philosophies over the years. Not to say these ideas are tired, by any means, but they continue to pop up because they not only interest us, but scare us a little as well. Humans have always wondered what destiny truly is or if it even exists, and on top of that, what does it mean to be who we are – if there even is a meaning. These concepts, while explored often, are continuously ripe for further inquiry, particularly in a science-fiction setting such as the one proposed by Lawrence and her team behind Lilith in the Garden.
The title of the film seems to take influence from the legend of Lilith, most commonly known in Jewish folklore. In one of the more well-known stories, the character of Lilith is connected to the origins of humanity and was said to be Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden, although she left him – and the garden – due to matters of sex. Scholars debate the exact origins of the character and the interpretations of what she represents are wide and range from seductress to demonic (for more, there is an interesting About.com piece about the different interpretations of the legend). As the story that Lawrence hopes to tell through Lilith in the Garden definitely seems to share some parallels with – or at the very least, echoes – the mythological take on the character of Lilith, I’m definitely intrigued to see in which direction she takes the short film.
Lilith in the Garden is currently funding on Kickstarter here, and is not too far from reaching its goal with a little over 10 days left. From the initial descriptions, I am definitely interested and I hope to see it come to fruition!