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This was our first synopsis
Have you ever felt like you just didn't fit into this world? Silver did.
So she left this place, hoping for a better one;
the place where God existed.
Doomed for eternity to watch her friends and family
living their lives without her via a giant TV set,
Silver now dwells in a far away place with no escape.
Through the friendships made, and by discovering her own power
Silver realizes that the real journey
is only now beginning...

This is the official synopsis we now use...

Purgatory House begins where most stories end, as it chronicles the afterlife journey of a lonely teenage girl who has abandoned her life of turmoil and drug addiction in search of unconditional love. Told in non-linear fashion, this stylistic coming-of-age drama marks the feature writing debut of 14-year-old Celeste Davis, and offers a quirky, uncensored glimpse into the mind of today's American youth.

About “Purgatory House”
The Story Behind The Story

Celeste Davis, the 14 year old writer of PURGATORY HOUSE, and I were paired in The Big Sisters of Los Angeles program, when Celeste was 11 years old. On the day we met, we were amazed to discover that we both had cats named Cali. As time would unfold, we came to realize that it was no coincidence at all that our lives were brought together, and that this would be the start of something much bigger than just the two of us.

Celeste had little interest in school, and struggled to get good grades. She also struggled with her home life and friendships. Time was slowly dragging by. She was waiting for the days to pass, to grow up, and to be free.

She liked to do artistic things like paint, draw and write. She began to write a story. This story paralleled her own life in certain ways; her search to fit in, to avoid drugs, drinking and cigarettes, to get along with people, to find meaning for her life, and to find her Higher Power. In other ways it was an uncensored look at what a teenage girl would fantasize about; being powerful, boys liking you, people being sad if you were gone, feeling wanted, and the fear of making wrong choices. I was amazed at how clearly I could see the influence of the society we live in today reflected back at me through this newly 13-year-old girl. It was shocking.

When Celeste came to me with the first version of her story at the age of 13, I realized just how talented this little girl was. Never having learned story structure, she had created her own. She was effortlessly telling a story by means of four time-lines--and it worked! I was also amazed that she would reveal exposition just as the reader would wonder about a particular plot point or character. The subtext leaped off the page, and the symbolism was profound. It was clearly a gift. As shocking and saddening as I found the content, I encouraged her to continue her writing uncensored; not thinking of how it might be received and judged by others, but from her soul- as a true expression of what was inside. She would come to me every now and then and we would brainstorm a plot point. A few months later, I typed it up for her- and low and behold- with a little twist here and a tuck there, we had a feature length screenplay! A year later an amazing cast and crew came together for an 18-day shoot, and made Celeste's screenplay into a real movie, which she starred in opposite Jim Hanks.

PURGATORY HOUSE is a living, breathing snapshot of how it feels to be a teen in a fast-paced, media-saturated world – undiluted by adult sensibility. I see this film as an amazing opportunity for all of us. It's a wake-up call. Hopefully we can begin to take responsibility for the lost and lonely lives that many kids are living today, and make a change.

Purgatory Houses are here on earth. Can we help our kids find the way out?

Top to page In memory of Silver Marie Strand

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Purgatory House Movie Synopis. Feature written by 14-year-old screenwriter Celeste Davis.