Summer 1851. At 54, Mary Shelley is in the last couple of months of her life, but she’s still a goth at heart.

The brain tumour that will kill her gives Mary shattering headaches, and she is haunted by hallucinations from the laudanum she takes to ease the pain. Aware that her time is short, she wants to set things right with the women she has crossed paths with. Together they will put to rest the memory of Percy Bysshe Shelley: a man they’ve all loved and hated. Decades before, his body had been cremated on the beach in Italy. A family friend pulled his heart from the flames and brought it back to England. It’s been on Mary’s desk in a silken shroud ever since.

The film depicts Mary’s weekend-long birthday gathering. She wants to cremate Shelley’s heart on the beach: a ritual to mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next – even if that is oblivion. There will be long sunsets, wild waves, starry nights, ice cream, brandy, the comfort of friendship and the sting of old rivalries. Of course, every good party must have a gate-crasher, and this celebration is no exception. There is a dead woman in attendance.

Starring Anastasia Hille.

Monster Heart      
Writer + Director: Priyanga Burford
Cinematographer: Sarah Cunningham
Production: La Pêche Productions

Florida Shorts
Flickers’ Rhode Island Internation Film Festival
Montreal Independent Film Festival
Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards 022