Gender Roles in the Family

In many societies, it is customary for the male to take the role of “leader” within the family unit.  In some cases the female is subjugated, and her views and contributions are seen as less valuable.  In thirsty, Julia has been living as a strong, independent woman when Alan arrives in Toronto.  Immediately, this brings to the forefront the question of who is the dominant figure in this dynamic.  Is there injustice in traditional gender roles?

Family Separation

It is often difficult to maintain our closest relationships, even when we are in near proximity.  The intimacy and contact needed to maintain a relationship with a spouse or child is significantly compromised when a partner or a child is living in another country.  The reality of how these relationships can disintegrate is explored in thirsty.

Justice vs. Systemic Racism

Racism remains part of the fabric of our society, but it is at its most insidious when seemingly built into the framework of systems that should ultimately be treating all members of society without bias – and granting everyone equal opportunity.  The allegation of systemically-engrained bigotry towards visible minorities, which manifests itself in the form of police brutality and questionable judicial procedures and outcomes, is an ongoing one.  In thirsty, Alan meets his end at the hand of a white police officer whose actions seem shockingly disproportionate to the circumstances.  How does the justice system fail Alan?


Guilt is one of the most powerful and destructive emotions one can experience.  Following Alan's death, Girl experiences the guilt of believing that she may have been partially responsible for his death.  Julia faces a more complex guilt - that of knowing she no longer loved her husband and wanted to be rid of him.  How does one deal with the reality of wishing someone out of one's life, and then having that person removed in the most tragic way possible?  When someone who is abusive is killed unjustly, has justice indirectly been served?

Religion vs. Family 

Tensions often arise when the deep-seated religious beliefs of one person contradict the values of other members of his/her family.  What is intended to be a unifying force – faith – can become the cause of fracture and disrepair when fanaticism takes root and the call to serve one's beliefs supersedes the call to serve the best interests of his/her loved ones.  Is it fair to expect one’s family to redefine their behaviour to conform to a religious belief?  Alan's obsession with preaching in thirsty blinds him to the needs of his wife and ultimately costs him his most valued relationships.