AGAINST THE CURRENT
That week, the trio head upstate to buy a boat and start their journey. Adamant that they reach New York City by August 28th, Paul keeps them on a tight schedule. Rain or shine, he swims, while they ride along side in the boat, stopping each night to camp along the river's edge.
However, halfway during the trip, as the sun sets over the majestic Hudson, Paul reveals his true intentions: when he reaches the end of his swim, he is going to kill himself. The finish date, Aug 28th, will mark the five-year anniversary of the death of his wife and unborn daughter. Consumed by his grief and despair, Paul has been unable to find closure and move on.
Realizing that the only way to save Paul might be to continue with the swim, Jeff and Liz agreed to stay on. And so with each passing stroke, a gallows humour settles over the three as they find themselves debating the finer points of jelly donuts, sex, and suicide. As the jokes and one-liners mix with deeper exchanges, the journey down river becomes a battle not only to save a friend, but also discover what it is they ultimately seek inside themselves.
Both tragic and surprisingly humorous, AGAINST THE CURRENT is a compelling and uncompromising exploration of grief and loss, one's right to determine one's own fate, and the limits and responsibilities of friendship.
AFI Dallas IFF - Special Jury Prize
United States of America
Moving to Los Angeles, Callahan optioned several screenplays to Hollywood studios before returning to his hometown to write and direct the independent feature LAST BALL in 2001. The film had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival and its international premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, where it was the sole U.S. film selected to compete in their prestigious New Director's competition.
Mary Jane Skalski
Mary Tyler Moore