The Mouse and the Lion

THE STORY: Rural Virginia ,1920. Mildred always did what was expected of her: find a man, settle down, and carry out chores on the family farm. As a woman in the early twentieth century, she did little to disturb the traditions of the time. She worked hard, said little, and suffered for years at the hands of her controlling, abusive husband.

Our story takes place in the winter of 1920 as a brutal blizzard strikes and Mildred’s husband falls terribly ill. That same night, Mildred finds George, a World War I veteran, collapsed on her doorstep. As he regains his strength, their growing bond unearths secrets each would rather keep hidden.

 

THE MISSION: By women about women, our film is helmed by a majority female creative team. We want to tell this story about the effects of domestic violence through a team that understands the complexities of a woman's experience.

I come from a long line of steely, southern women, and I can proudly say that some of the stereotypes are true. In our family, feeding houseguests is not optional, polite conversation is the only conversation, and my Grammy’s motto was ‘fat is what The Good Lord put in food to make it taste good.’

But this means that some of the uglier stereotypes are true of my family as well. And the most persistent seems to be that sometimes the man who’s supposed to love you turns out to be a man who harms you, deeply, constantly, almost irreparably. So many of the women in my family have a story that starts with love and ends with abuse. And we’re not the only ones; these stories belong to one in three women who suffer intimate partner violence.

Too frequently, Hollywood presents domestic violence as a terrible tragedy that ends when ‘I packed my bags and left him.’ But the stories my family tells start after that, when the real work begins. Moving forward requires immense strength, hard work, and the right people to support you.

This film is about the first step towards healing. It’s about making the choice to let someone in. It’s about acknowledging hurt in another person and saying, “That’s okay. I understand. And that’s not all you are.” That simple moment of recognition and acceptance and kindness can literally be life-altering. So many people have experienced some kind of trauma that makes it hard to function or to cope. And the whole point of this film is to tell those people, “I believe you. You deserve to feel normal. You deserve to be loved, even if you’ve been told over and over again that you don’t deserve it.”” - Lain

LAIN KIENZLE (WRITER/DIRECTOR)

Lain comes from a long line of tough southern women but grew up across the Midwest and East Coast, visiting friends’ farms with her Aunt Betty, baking with her mom, and constantly adding new pets she found to the family.

Lain’s filmmaking career began early, with a number of her student films winning awards at the Chicagoland High School Film Festival, the Chicago 48 Hour Film Festival, and NYU’s New Visions and Voices Festival. Her most recent short, The Nappers, for which she took a New York-based cast and crew to Illinois, as well as wrangled a 300lb alligator and a 9 foot long boa constrictor, was an official selection at the Garden State Film Festival, Windy City Film Festival, Prairie State Film Festival, and NYU’s New Visions and Voices Festival.

Since receiving her BFA with Honors in Film and TV Production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Lain has worked all over the film and TV production world, holding the titles of Production Coordinator, Editor, and more at companies including BBC Worldwide and on TV shows including Quantico, The Blacklist and 30 Rock. Recently, Lain has worked as a script supervisor on independent films, where she works to bring each director’s vision to life.

www.lainkienzle.com

The Mouse and the Lion