LIFE’S LEGACY at the STROUD FILM FESTIVAL
We have three films showing at the first ever Stroud Film Festival.
As you may know our home town of Stroud in Gloucestershire, is known for its slightly quirky and alternative arts culture and hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, many of international repute. So we have festivals for music, the visual arts, textiles, print makers, photography and now a cinematic treat. Among the films on offer during the two week festival will be Vim Wenders 3D masterpiece about the choreographer, Pina Bausch simply titled ‘PINA’ , Nick Cave in ‘20,000 Days on Earth’ and Kiley Kraskouskas’ unforgetable ‘The Last Song Before the War’ – the story of Mali’s annual music Festival in the Desert which came to a halt in 2012 when separatist rebels and Islamic militants seized control of the north of the country.
The Stroud Film Festival runs from 13th to 29th March 2015 at a number of venues throughout the town. The full list of films can be found here www.stroudfilmfestival.co.uk
Our own programme of personal documentaries, LIFE’S LEGACY will be on Saturday 14th March. The evening will start at 7.00 pm with an opportunity to join us for a drink and tapas at the Star Anise. The screening of the three films will start at 8.00 in the Open House Cinema just across the courtyard from the Star Anise and will be followed by an
open discussion on the themes they raise – life, love, loss (and laughter). Following on from Josh’s death and our attempts to come to terms with his absence, we are really presenting these films as a reflection of our own engagement with ideas about end of life care, the role that our mortality plays in our society, and the fears associated with death and bereavement. In that sense, they are all very personal films but films that we hope have a wider resonance for anyone who has been bereaved or is caring for an elderly relative. But more than that, they are part of a growing conversation about death and dying that doesn’t have to be morbid or depressing.
Death is part of life and by averting our gaze we deny ourselves the chance to really live it.” (Nicola Dela-Croix)
This is Purgatory (or what do you think happens when you die?) (2009 – 30 mins) was made by Jimmy as part of the Random Stroud project, a year and a half before Josh died. It’s a light hearted take on the life hereafter made at a time when we had little idea of what that might mean for us in a world we would inhabit as bereaved parents.
“Quirky, thoughtful and moving … a lively combination of of humour and deep humanity” Pip Heywood – film maker The Eye of the Hare
Say Their Name (2013 – 17 mins) is the only film available in the UK made by and for bereaved parents. Soon after Josh died, we were approached by the bereavement charity The Compassionate Friends to make a film which would give comfort to the newly bereaved and understanding to their friends and family. This is the result.
“Such a moving film. Sad, but very powerful” Claudia Hammond BBC Radio 4
Gerry’s Legacy (2015 – 45 mins) Six years in the making this is the story of Jane’s attempts to help her father who at the age of 93 was diagnosed with vascular dementia and spent the reminder of his life in what was signposted as a specialist dementia unit but was in reality a locked psychiatric ward. With over 100 hours of footage, the film project originally had the working title of The Waiting Room but was eventually produced for Alzheimers Society as a series of training modules to encourage a more person centered care. We have now shaped it into an intimate yet powerful observation of some of the fears and anxieties as well as the hopes provoked by dementia both for the person and for the family.
“An amazing man, loved by his family, failed by the system” Beth Britton leading dementia campaigner
“Gerry’s Legacy illustrates the frustrating experiences of people living with dementia, and the continual confrontation with a system of treatment that can … fail utterly to make sense of the person’s individual life or experience.” Dr Shibley Rahman author ‘Living better with dementia’: a global perspective (to be published June 2015)
The Stroud Film Festival – for full programme of films
The Compassionate Friends – bereavement charity
Alzheimers Society – for article about Gerry’s Legacy
NCPC/Dying Matters – for review of Say Their Name