Sunday, February 13, 2011

Of Dreams and Nightmares

Back in October 2004 I was shocked like everyone else in my town to read about the senseless murder of a young woman named Kelly-Anne Drummond. By all accounts, she had been an out-going, vibrant girl, an accomplished athlete who had just completed her degree in Communications and who had recently worked as a production assistant on her first film shoot.

My reaction to her senseless death was very much coloured by the fact that my own daughter has a birthday in October which we were about to celebrate. I often thought about Kelly-Anne's mother and what she was going through. By what stroke of luck or fate did I get to keep my daughter, while she had so tragically lost hers? It consumed my mind for quite awhile and I followed the story right up until Kelly-Anne's boyfriend was convicted of her murder and sent to prison two years later.

At around the same time as Kelly-Anne died,  I was writing a book (Silent Women) which deals with the subject of abuse and how easy it is for people to lose themselves when they get enmeshed in an unhealthy relationship. Abuse comes in so many forms....verbal, sexual, emotional, physical...and it can be delivered so subtly that the victim, at first, doesn't even realize what is happening. Abuse can happen to anyone, at any age.

While I continued to work on my book, I was approached by a friend and colleague who asked me to help her with a film she had just finished directing. She had shot it but the storyline wasn't working for her and she needed to give her images new meaning in order to salvage the footage she already had. The film was entitled "Dreams and Mirrors".

The film depicts the emotional landscape of a young girl who is trying to come to terms with her past and the relationship she had with her late father. The breath-takingly beautiful images evoked strong emotions and were a natural outlet, given what I was writing in my book, to further explore the topic of women who choose to be silent about their inner pain. What cannot come out, goes deep within, and in the case of Sara, the character in the film, the end result is a sequence of dreams that eventually lead her to make an important decision. To quote from the narration: "The women always walk without speaking, knowing that silence is expected of them, that all shame must be borne without ever making a sound. This might have been my own fate had I not heard the wave of eloquent anguish coming from these silenced voices, showing me that pain is the force that either keeps you down or makes you rise."

"Dreams and Mirrors" is finally going to be screened this weekend after years of hard work and a tenacious belief in the message from all who were involved in the project. One crew member will not be able to attend the screening. I never knew until yesterday that the production assistant on this film, was Kelly-Anne Drummond.

I dedicate what I wrote for "Dreams and Mirrors" to her memory.

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