The Fear of 13

David Sington

After having spent 23 years on death row, Nick writes a letter asking the judge to cease all investigations into his case and grant him the right to be swiftly executed. With a minimum of drama to achieve a maximum effect, this psychological thriller documentary tells the remarkable life story of this man, in which it slowly becomes clear that nothing is what it seems.

Charismatic storyteller Nick takes us on a journey through his life, which was characterized by a drug addiction, lack of perspective and childhood traumas, and provides an insight into the prison system.

Being sentenced to death following a series of unfortunate accidents, he spends his days in his cell. After a while, a kindly disposed guard lends him a few books. Despite the fact that he has hardly learned to read, he devours the books and is soon busy learning new, complicated words all day. He also discovers the existence of the word ‘triskaidekaphobia’, which means ‘fear of 13’. His newly acquired language skills not only help him to come to terms with his past, but also enable him to shape his future.

The slowly unfolding events, which take the form of an exciting monologue, blur the line between truth and fiction. But then an unexpected twist turns the whole story upside down.


David Sington
David Sington, Chris Riley
Country of production
United Kingdom
96 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
DOX Productions Ltd
World Sales