Melancolony
(Melancolony (Video, 24 mins, 2017)

In Melancolony, a 17 and a half year old soldier serving in Afghanistan has a plan to fake medical discharge to escape the army before he is officially old enough to fight on his eighteenth birthday. He must convince his hardened superior, Sergeant Price, 37 that he has lost his hearing but Price - usually quick to spot a coward is distracted by his own fears as he faces his final tour of duty and the terror of a new life as a civilian where he has been told he has the transferable skills fit for a new career in banking.

'Melancolony' etymologically fuses two words: ‘Colony’ - defined as the control by one power ‘at the core’ over a dependent people or area ‘on the periphery’ And ‘Melancholy’- defined as prolonged depression and, in particular, refers to its archaic meaning of bitter sadness believed by pre-modern medicine to be the result of the production of too much black bile. Similar to oil, this vital dark substance is still produced by the barrel to maintain the colonial psychic economy predicated on an over-masculinized psychology that demands young men and women 'delete feeling and insert humour'.

Chris Saunders copyright 2020