MONKEY BEACH THE MOVIE
Our goal is to turn the internationally-acclaimed novel Monkey Beach, by award-winning Haisla writer Eden Robinson, into an international box office hit and a rich transmedia cross-platform experience.
Lisa Hill has supernatural powers that foretell death. She also sees mythical creatures and talks to dead people. But she’s really lots of fun – really. And she’d really rather be normal and not worry about those mystical things. Lisa leaves home thinking if she parties hard enough the visions – and the grief - will go away. But when Lisa returns to her village following the tragic death of her cousin Tabitha, the partying therapy hasn’t worked and Lisa’s visions are back – with force.
This time her visions point to the drowning of her younger brother Jimmy. Lisa is convinced Jimmy is in danger, but Jimmy isn’t buying it. When they were younger, Lisa saw Jimmy’s death but hey, he’s still here. Somehow Lisa has to save Jimmy, even if he thinks she’s a psychic hot-line wannabe.
Jimmy was an Olympic swimming hopeful but an injury ended that dream. Now he has taken up with Karaoke, the village beauty with a secret – and together they find comfort in their love. When Karaoke rejects his marriage proposal, Jimmy is distraught.
The turmoil sends Lisa to find comfort from her grandmother – Mama-oo. No sweet Elder, Mama-oo is helping Lisa realize having powers beyond one’s human self can be a good thing. Not get rich good, but help save people good.
Albert and Gladys, Lisa parents, worried every minute Lisa partied in Vancouver. But all is forgiven. They may not understand her, but they love her like crazy. Lisa can’t believe how hilarious her parents have become since she’s been away – especially because her parents don’t even know they’re being funny. And, yes, Lisa missed them like crazy.
Returning home also brought Lisa back to her childhood best buds - Frank, Cheese and Pooch, three misfits and losers who are now cool activists – determined to stop a pipeline. Frank is their leader – the original outcast. And though Lisa may mock Frank’s “future Chief” vibe, what could be more appealing than a bad boy gone good?
Lisa’s journey home is also a journey to the past, to when she first realized she had her ‘freaky’ powers. Her story takes us to her childhood, when she first saw Sasquatches (the monkeys at Monkey Beach) and a strange spirit of the cedar trees, otherwise known as the Little Red-Haired Man.
Back in the present, rumours fly around the village that Karaoke is another casualty of Uncle Josh. Uncle Josh is himself a casualty of residential school abuse, who deals with his pain by inflicting pain on others. When Jimmy takes a job on Josh’s fishing boat, he says it's for the money. But he has a more serious agenda: revenge.
The Coast Guard call with the terrible news that Jimmy and Uncle Josh are missing. Albert and Gladys head to Prince Rupert to join in the search, insisting Lisa wait at home. But Lisa won’t stay put. Since childhood, her visions have been leading to this moment: If she can’t save Jimmy, her powers mean nothing. She has to get to Monkey Beach, where her powers are strongest… where she knows she’ll find Jimmy. All her life Lisa has struggled with her gifts. Can she finally face who she really is? Can she embrace her power, get to Monkey Beach and save Jimmy -- or at least his soul.