The story of Jowan Trelawney

The last in the line of gentry landowners, Caradoc Basset dies in mysterious circumstances, apparently drowned in his bed. An heir to his vast fortune and manor house in Cornwall is found, Morwenna Basset. But the fortune is not all she inherits. She also inherits a 400 year old curse from Jowan Trelawney, killed in the family mine. Morwenna must find a way to lay the ghosts to rest, or face the same terrifying end as Caradoc Basset.

Welcome to Tarosvadnow, a film short created by The Ambience Factory, a leading independent film music studio in darkest Cornwall. Tarosavadnow is the ancient Cornish language word for ghosts.

The Cornish language, like Welsh, reflects the culture and landscape of Cornwall and how it reflects the world that the ancient native speakers lived in.

That world was one of superstition, thinly disguised and ancient Celtic traditions adopted by the local early Christians, extreme danger, an extreme island like climate of a desolate peninsula in the wild Atlantic ocean where storms at sea or on land could be fatal.

Cut off from the world with no reliable roads or safe passage into our out of the county, it was a world of total isolation and fear. It was also a land of great poverty and riches.

The landed gentry ruthlessly exploited and often killed the Cornish, men, women and children, to mine the riches of the tin, copper, silver and gold in Cornwall and also the riches of the sea.

This reached a head in 1497 when the poor marched on London, and the English government slaughtered at lease 4000 unarmed men, women and children to quell the rebellion.

It is against this backdrop that a poor but honest man, Jowan Trelawney worked in a mine to support his family, barely earning enough to keep them fed.

The Cornish story has been lost as wealthy people try to recast the county as a mini California. But miners were paid in fake currencies owned and issued by the mines. The miners could only buy goods and services from the mine families, so they could never improve their lives. They were in effect slaves, and considered expendable.

One day, Jowan complained the mine was unsafe, the mine owners ignored him and he and 101 other men were killed.

While he was dying, he swore his revenge upon the mine owners family, which started a curse that runs to this day.

Tarosvadnow is the story of his revenge against the last in the line of the mine owners family, a story that echoes modern day poverty in Cornwall, the continued social injustice and exploitation by tourism, rich second home owners and a government who could not care less. It is also a fine ghost story, a story of love and revenge, redemption and forgiveness and understanding across great reaches of time.