Making Here One Day

June 26, 2014

I made Here One Day because I needed to tell this story of my family, my mother’s mental health and the ways in which my family coped and then survived after my mother’s suicide at age 63. I began the film in 2004, nine years after my mother died, not knowing exactly what I was making, but spurred by a huge wave of grief that I experienced when I discovered I was having a second son, and would not, choosing to only have two kids, ever have a daughter. In those nine years since my mother’s death I had been unconsciously hoping that I would have a daughter and that this new mother-daughter relationship would allow me to retrieve my mother and close the circle that had been so traumatically ruptured. Thankfully that was not meant to be. Instead of the daughter, grew this film, a much healthier way to re-visit my mother, to grieve, and to explore her life, what it was like to live with her, and then to lose her. With the help of one of my incredibly talented best friends, Director of Photography Kirsten Johnson (Best Camera, Sundance 2010) and my amazing editor, Pola Rapaport, Here One Day took me on emotional and creative journeys that I never could have imagined. While making Here One Day I had to look at hundreds of photos of my mother, watch old home movies of her, interview my family, and finally, for the first time since she had died, listen to my mother’s voice. I had to re-examine our experiences from all angles and learn about my mother’s experience, from my new perspective as an adult and storyteller. Making this film was an incredibly cathartic experience, which now, as a finished piece is not only incredibly healing for me, but for the many thousands of people I am screening it for in educational and community settings, including film festivals, around the world. 

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