The UnLonely Project for Caregivers
At the centerpiece of this group discussion is the film My Baby You’ll Be” from filmmaker Charles Frank. It offers a portrait of how a relationship between two close family members can grow distant. While mother and child represent one of our most primal connections, the emotional core and special texture of the film make it resonate with viewers and elicit feelings about many other relationships in their lives. These relationships no doubt touch on the degree of support, social connectedness and essential intimacy viewers have or want in their lives.
Caregivers, many of whom care for family members, may have particularly strong reactions to this film, with its underlying subtext of love, loyalty, and responsibility to kin.
The following discussion questions are offered to help you, the facilitator, open up dialogue and conversation among participants–to get their response to the film, particularly as it relates to their own challenges with important relationships in their lives and states of connectedness.
- What did you find most interesting about the film? Did anything, in particular, catch your attention?
- Despite the theme of connection and disconnection, the young man in the film (the filmmaker) seems to have a girlfriend, and a pet — in other words, a life with (seemingly) fulfilling attachments. Can you still feel lonely and depressed if you have these kinds of elements in your life?
- If so, are these feelings hard to convey and make others understand?
- Does your reaction to the film raise thoughts and feelings that surprise you?
- This film has been called “A Love Letter to Mom.” Do you think that’s fitting? How would you describe the subject and theme of the film?
- Does this film bring up relationships in your own life, past or present?
- If the relationships are with individuals in your past, are they ones you want to reflect on and even possibly further resolve?
- If not, have you ever felt the need — and perhaps avoided it — to share your feelings about what happened, either by talking to someone or through other expressive means (for example writing, dancing, photography)
- What would you say to the mother or son in the film?
Loneliness can take many different forms, which is why the Festival offers viewers five theaters reflecting the experience of particularly affected groups as well as those of us navigating everyday obstacles of connecting meaningfully with others:
- Family Relationships:
– How they change through life
– The influence of family history in creating new families or friend-family groups
- The Role of Technology — positive and negative — in relationship building and maintaining
- The Artifacts of Connectedness: home movies, voicemails, letters, journals