You Are My Oxygen

Screenplay Type
Screenplay Award Sub-Category
2024 Young Or Golden Writer
Logline or Premise
When Sara's husband Johan, an acclaimed saxophonist, begins experiencing difficulty breathing, her love for him is pushed to its limits.
First 10 Pages


Dream - A young girl named Sara witnesses her friend drown and cannot save her...

The Faroe Islands. Sara, now in her twenties, goes for a swim as she does every morning. Her husband, Johan, an acclaimed saxophonist, has a big show coming up but has no material and feels creatively drained. Sara thinks he has earnt his retirement, though Johan disagrees: a creative never retires. One morning, Sara receives a letter from her mother, the first in a long while. She goes for a walk, stumbling across 'The Grind', a Faroese whaling tradition. Her anger inspires Johan, who hurriedly puts together a new composition the night before the show. During the show, Johan collapses to the ground whilst performing. Afterwards, he dismisses Sara's concerns, citing his own poor technique.

Dream - Sara spots Johan's corpse under the water and reaches out to grab him. Pair after pair of disembodied arms hold her back...

Some days later, Sara goes for her morning swim as Johan watches on. When she looks back to the shore, Johan is unconscious. At the doctor's, they are told that Johan will hear back soon; if they can't reach him, they'll call Sara. Johan's phone goes off whilst he's rehearsing, though he doesn't hear it.

Sara receives a phone call from a woman named Lisbeth, claiming to be Johan's ex-wife. She tells Sara that Johan has COPD - Johan hasn't notified the doctor's of his new marriage - and asks to visit. Sara agrees and slams the phone down. When Lisbeth arrives, things are understandably awkward. She talks of her family with Sara, then speaks to Johan alone. Johan asks to speak in Faroese with her, as he believes Sara will try to listen in: he's right. Lisbeth resents him and wishes he hadn't rashly ended their relationship, which surprises Johan.

Johan attends a pulmonary rehabilitation class at Sara's insistence, though he refuses to attend any further classes. Sara meets Lisbeth for coffee and the pair open up with each other; meanwhile, Johan rehearses with his band and finds inspiration. He comes home to Sara and attempts to make love to her, though he cannot. Sara tries to do a DIY class for Johan, but he feels patronised.

Dream - A young Johan tries to perform to a packed auditorium, though his saxophone produces no sound. Sara, who wears a grin and the garb of the Virgin Mother, beckons him towards her...

Sara wakes up to Johan choking. He is rushed to hospital and the doctors perform a tracheostomy. When he returns home, their marital bed is gone in place of a hospital bed. Johan asks Sara to hire a care worker: does he not think her capable?

Some time later, Lisbeth returns to visit them and is shocked to find Sara is taking this on alone. She argues with Sara about what's right, though Sara won't have it: in essence, she wants to save Johan. In the kerfuffle, Johan slips a note into Lisbeth's pocket, which reads, 'HIRE ME A CARE WORKER'. Sure enough, one arrives, much to Sara's confusion. Furious, she berates Johan for making a fool of her and for going behind her back; before long, she refuses the worker to see Johan anymore.

One morning, Johan suffers a bleed of the windpipe. Sara leaps into action. That night, he looks at her like an enemy.

Out of the blue, Sara's mother, Ida, shows up at the house. The pair clearly left each other on bad terms, though they both have differing feelings now, with Sara feeling guilty and Ida not at all. When Ida sees Johan, she flips out and asks Sara if she truly knows what she is doing. Sara throws in a personal jab about her father, which prompts Ida to slap her! She swiftly departs, once more, from Sara's life. It's just her and Johan now.

In a last-ditch attempt to put a smile on Johan's face, she takes his sax and mimes along to one of his records. This, sadly, is the last straw, and he expresses his desire to die. She doesn't believe him, she cannot believe him and, in a painful monologue, reveals her naivete and lack of understanding. Suddenly, she switches up and asks him to kill himself right this moment, which he does not. She calls him a coward and goes to shower.

Lisbeth returns to the house once more and speaks with Sara, who is utterly distraught. Sara doesn't know if she's a monster or a good person, she's lost. In the end, the pair agree to Johan's wishes. Sara holds his hand whilst he takes his last breath.

At his funeral, the women reconvene. Sara asks what she should do with her life now. Lisbeth says she can do anything. Sara says she wants to go back to the house once more before she does anything. Lisbeth reluctantly agrees.

Sara returns to the house and studies it as if an alien environment. She visits their bedroom and smokes Johan's last remaining cigarette. Finally, she stands by the sea and watches as the MS NORRONA cruises into view, its blaring horns overwhelming her.

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