Films Fiction, In Pre-Production


“Fate has you in her grip, it seems.”

What gives a life meaning?

Is it what we share, and in the way we hear each other’s stories, that indelibly records our existence, our personal history – our hopes, dreams, losses, joys, and, most enduringly, our loves.

To have intimately connected with another person, existed on the same wavelength, if only for a brief moment in time, is to have meant something important. Life plays out in a series of important but fleeting moments, and those moments define our ‘spirit’ in the lives, minds, and hearts of others…

And so, in some place and some time – America at the dawn of the 20th Century – we discover Lionel (BAFTA® winner Paul Mescal), a sensitive young man, gifted with synaesthesia – the ability to ‘see’ sound. Quiet and shy, raised to the humble rhythms and grind of Kentucky farm life, Lionel’s world is forever changed when his talents find a soul-mate in David (Golden Globe® and Emmy® winner Josh O’Connor), a fellow student of the Boston Conservatory of Music. Effortlessly confident, urbane, a man of the world – David’s charisma unlocks a deep harmony inside Lionel; a desire and a purpose.

Together, they embark on a journey to record the sounds and music, testimony and lives of their countrymen, in an America rapidly changing – on the cusp of war and hurtling towards the modern world. Those whose lives they glimpse and record, will soon be swept away. But their ‘voice’ and song, tunes of life, remain for others to share.

In this snatched, short-lived moment in their own young lives, and whilst discovering the ‘country’ of America, both men are deeply changed.

“Would I feel the same if we hadn’t met? Would I feel now that I’d missed something? That my life feels an inch shorter than it could have been? But we did meet.”

Through the romantic, epic sweep of America, in all its hues and shades, Lionel’s and David’s intimacy reveals honest insight into the truth of who we really are, what we can be and how we can mean something; to others and ourselves – knowing and being who we really are, and celebrating that we have been heard.

The History of Sound – is a universal and exquisite love story, that beats to the powerful rhythms of our lives, in tune with the heart of America.

“What happens to it, all the sound released into the world, that’s never captured? I want all of it. The history of sound, lost daily.”



Cast: Josh O’Connor & Paul Mescal

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Writer: Ben Shattuck

Producers: Andrew Kortschak, Andrea Roa & Lisa Ciuffetti