This poetic short film was shot on location in Bournemouth.
Starring Lauren Ashley Carter (Imitation Girl, Premium Rush, The Woman) Hail Maria! tells the story of a mysterious cam girl and sex worker who recounts the true story of Harriet Westbrook, the lesser known first wife of renowned romanticist poet: Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Written & Directed by Mikel Iriarte
Cinematography by Martyna Knitter
Edited by Laura Johnson
Sound Design by Glen Yard
Lighting by Nuno Rodrigues
Makeup by Faye Williamson
Costume by Dot Watkins
Featuring “Banshees and Ghouls” by Ian Alex Mac
Maria seeks to shed light on the blindingly tragic story of Harriet Westbrook unearthing what is potentially a different side to highly adored Romanticist Percy Bysshe Shelley than what is publicly known or acknowledged today.
Comprising of a single monologue, the script was constructed around quotes and dialogue taken verbatim from sex workers living and working around the world who have publicly shared and spoken about their experiences.
The script is inspired by the writer and director’s experience growing up near a known red-light district in the British seaside town of Bournemouth. The Shelley estate is also located in Bournemouth and the family, including Mary Shelley and the heart of poet Percy Shelley, are buried in St Peter’s Church, in the centre of the town.
RIP Harriet Westbrook 10.12.1816
“This is the oldest crime since the dawn of time, and we’re just now lifting the veil of secrecy and humiliation and shame… The understanding that it is so widespread and can happen to the most perfect or wealthiest or most pious or whateverest among us — it’s hard to let that sink in. And then it’s terrifying once you get it.”
- Gabrielle Union