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Farewell Darkness

Directed by Daniel Pico
Narrative Feature
USA | 96 min | 2007

Michael returns home to Chicago from Operation Iraqi Freedom with more scars than he left with. Abused by his father, Roman, as a child, he spent his teenage years as a petty thief until he is caught and given an ultimatum, military or jail.

Now, that his bloody Tour of Duty is over, he returns home to find his mother, Teresa, dead by her own hand, pushed to the brink by her abusive husband Roman. Michael vows to take vengeance for his poor mother by killing Roman.

But he must have one last day with his girlfriend, Rose, a recent high school graduate who stayed loyal to Michael during his tour. But this happy reunion of young lovers takes a turn for the worst when Michael begins to show abusive behaviors toward Rose, not unlike his father’s behaviors as a child. Michael must choose to let his past go and leave his father to rot in his own hell of self torture, or join him by his side.

Farewell Darkness began over breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank California in 2004. Roy Maurer, a friend of mine from film school and marine veteran had been living in Los Angeles at this point for a few years after graduation and had been attempting to break into the film industry as a screenwriter with minimal success at this point.

He told me about a story he was working on about a Iraq war veteran who was out for revenge against his marine recruiter. I liked his take on the revenge story, and I suggested that instead of the hero out to kill his recruiter, perhaps his victim be someone more personal maybe his father. Roy liked my suggestion and said he’d use it. I then proclaimed that if he wrote the script I’d make it since I had yet to do a feature film, and off we went.

Three and a half years later we found ourselves on set in Chicago filming the climax of the film, Roy had flown in to be part of the last day of principal photography and join us for the wrap party which was sure to be a rowdy affair.

And as we watch Keith Compton perform his final scene where he finally confronts his father it was clear to us we had created something very personal and what we later found when we showed the film to audiences that the movie spoke to a moment in history for the country, when we found ourselves in a strange limbo where we all knew that a crime had been committed by the United States and we like Michael our main character, we were the abused orphan without a father to guide us instead a tyrant who seems to destroy everything he touches.

Farewell Darkness Poster

Daniel Pico, Director | Farewell DarknessDaniel Pico
Daniel is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a BA in directing and screenwriting. He has been shooting films his entire life having made his first movie at the age of 8.

Dan has directed two theatrically released feature films “Common Senses”, and “Farewell Darkness” which won three best feature film awards in the international film festival circuit. Additionally, Daniel has directed more than 85 short films, music videos, commercials and documentaries, including 11 episodes of several popular TV and web series, garnering over 40 independent film awards and nominations for his work.

Daniel is the founder of Pico Blvd Entertainment, a production company who’s core is focused on independent cinema. Not only is Dan a maverick director, he is an accomplished editor and has worked in several major capacities in film, from producing multiple feature films, to first assistant directing several multi-million dollar features films around the world.

Currently he is developing his third feature film “Wounded”, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed play written by award winning playwright Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm.

Film Information

Director: Daniel Pico
Country: United States
Year: 2007
Language: English
Runtime: 96 min.
Rated: R


Writers: Roy Maurer, Daniel Pico
Producers: David Bianchi, Daniel Pico, Matthew M. Jones, James Azreal
Cinematography: Jason Deuchler
Production Design: Rus Blemker
Music: Carl Sondrol
Editors: Daniel Pico, Gina Rodreigez

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BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival