ethics professor ironically finds himself caught in a dangerous
ethical dilemma when he attempts to intervene on behalf of a bright
but troubled student who appears to be a victim of physical abuse.
his marriage crumbles, Julian Long, an ethics professor, turns
his attentions toward a bright but troubled student, Vanessa Coolidge,
after she begins to show up to class with signs of abuse. As Julian
attempts to intervene on behalf of his student, he finds that
his moral principles and ethical beliefs are no match for the
dangerous rules and visceral lifestyle that dominate Vanessa's
world. When Julian makes a desperate attempt to "save"
Vanessa from what he believes is a deadly downward spiral, he
unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that will ironically
trap him into a prison crafted from his righteousness for the
ethical morality he so strongly clings to.
Apology to the Dead is the story of Julian Long (Troy Randall-Kilpatrick),
a middle-aged ethics professor in a mid-western college town.
Julian's home life with his wife, Caroline (Lisa Sodman), and
his daughter, Rebecca (Chelsea Elizabeth Gill), has become increasingly
unsettled. Caroline's stressful work life and Julian's need to
befriend his daughter, have created friction between husband and
wife. Caroline becomes paranoid that Julian is having an affair
with a student when she uncovers a number of questionable emails
from a female student, Vanessa Coolidge (Jenelle Mazaris).
begins to take a genuine interest in her ethics class when Julian
challenges her to live up to her potential. Her paper about the
nature of true love proves to be her best work. But when Vanessa
shows up to class with signs of abuse, Julian begins to fear the
worst and attempts to uncover the truth. What he discovers confirms
his darkest fears and leads Julian to attempt to "rescue"
his star student from her dangerous lifestyle.
talks of ethical dilemmas and objectivist reasoning in his classroom
but does this obscure what is truly happening within and around
him? Vanessa's secrets and the extent of her abuse prove too much
for Julian to handle and his actions set in motion events with
LONG - Julian is an ethics professor at a midwest community college,
married to Caroline, with a daughter, Rebecca. Julian enjoys his
work as an ethics professor and his students admire his eccentric
lectures and formidable class discussions. Julian once studied
to be a professional musician, but gave it up to pursue a tangible
career and support his family. Julian applies the principles of
the ethics he teaches to the way he thinks and acts as a person.
LONG - Julian's wife. Caroline and Julian have grown estranged
due to Caroline's relentless pursuit of a promotion at her legal
firm. They have grown distant and awkward toward each other. Caroline
especially disapproves of the way Julian has been "raising"
their daughter while she has been working late into the night
on her endless paperwork. As their fighting increases, Caroline
becomes increasingly paranoid that Julian is having an affair
with a student.
LONG - Julian's daughter. Rebecca is confused by the growing animosity
she senses between her parents. She writes letters to her father
in which she argues for the right to purchase adult music, while
subtly alluding that the language she might hear in the album
is hardly different than the language coming from her parents'
arguments. Unfortunately, Julian doesn't pay any attention to
the letters, much to Rebecca's dismay.
COOLIDGE- A student in Julian's ethics class with a lifestyle
far more on the edge than Julian's morally certain world. Initially,
Vanessa has problems showing up to class on time and contributing
to class discussion. After Julian attempts to reach out to her,
though, Vanessa begins to appreciate Julian's sincerity in trying
to help her grow as a scholar and as a person. As she continues
to work hard in the class, she finds the demands of her chosen
lifestyle are beginning to conflict, violently even, with her
desire to become a model student for Julian.