Nathan Joe: Those Left Behind Influences/Inspiration
My primary influences for Those Left Behind have been dystopic or nightmarish visions of our world. The oldest example on my list is Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, a unsettling short story set in a village that hosts a horrific event revolving around a lottery. Then there’s the more popular and mainstream example of The Hunger Games. I think you can’t help but draw parallels between the two. The way randomness and luck plays a part.
From a playwriting perspective, Caryl Churchill’s Far Away informed the absurdity of the piece heavily. Again, for the way that banality is tied to violence. Samuel Beckett’s Come and Go is pretty the least direct influence. But the images of older women circling around the same lines, repeating the same old routine, haunted me.
And, of course, the short film supplied to us as the central provocation behind Luck of the Draw (Ballot at the Government Statistician’s Office). The documentary realness, the normality, the cold historical fact of it all. The final image of the film is of everyone gathered around in their Sunday best. As if this is just another day at the office. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.