In the near future, Ireland, in the fierce grip of the global economic melt down and suffering the financial burden of hosting 8 straight wins of the Eurovision Song Contest, sells the entire county of Kerry, its people and resources to a major entertainment corporation. Their intention is to run the county as an egalitarian real life 18th century interactive theme park. The SIMMs of the modern age.
After 15 highly successful years, a seemingly extraordinary social experiment begins to unravel. Viewers and revenue are falling. Rumours of unrest and mistreatment are rife.
A company man, Ray Colt, is sent to investigate and to review the current situation. He decides to go undercover amongst the populace to see for himself. What he will discover will shock and horrify him and ultimately change his life for ever.
During an attempt on his life by malevolent company men in the crowded streets he is knocked unconscious and suffers temporary amnesia.........this is where our film begins. He awakes to find himself in a strange world unfamiliar in both time and place. His rescuers bundle him away and keep him incarcerated. They are clearly suspicious of him and his intent. They seem to know who he is and they are troubled by his presence in the city.
He experiences and witnesses some of the brutality that is metered out by the authorities who are looking for him. His captors realising his amnesia is genuine, together with his natural concern for them, allow him more freedom. During this time he begins to form a relationship with the beautiful Rhiana.
Ray is still unaware of his true time and place.
Slowly we as viewers begin to be aware of strange anomalies within this 18th century world. Small clues at first, a vapour trail in the sky a wrist watch on a passer by. We may initially put this down to poor continuity and production values. Slowly the true nature of this world becomes clear. Ray begins to remember who he is and his mission. An appallingly cathartic event, a public hanging, subsequent rescue of Rhiana’s younger brother aided by Ray and a startling discovery forces him to confront his past and present danger.
The populace were at first willing to accept their situation, full employment and housing for all, a chance to begin again. The county was a place of bounty, a rural idyll away from the consumerist and corporate greed. But slowly things began to change, their civil liberties eroded in the interest of corporate greed.
This is the heritage industry turned on its head.
Peter Findley production designer & supervising art director