Bonnie and Mark
Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
A blissfully happy newly-wed couple find their life together utterly changed, their union profoundly divided, with sudden illness, caretaking and a loss of self. Through honesty and compassion, loneliness and loss, they struggle to come to terms with their mutual and individual destinies.
About the Filmmaker
Doug Fabrizio, the Director, has been reporting for KUER News since 1987 and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became the host and executive producer of KUER’s RadioWest, a one-hour conversation/call-in show.
Did you recognize a theme of loneliness as your project developed?
“When we first started this project, Bonnie and Mark were facing his illness together. The work sat for some time, and then we learned things were changing for them. By the end of filming, we discovered how they were both facing their own loneliness and isolation.”
What do you hope UnLonely Film Festival audiences, trying to make sense of loneliness and isolation and navigate a path forward, take from your film?
“Everyone has to find their own path forward. It won’t always be easy and there may be some really tough decisions. In the end, though, they’re your decisions to make.”
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- Has a health issue or event altered your plan or situation? How have you handled that change? If you were to write a How-To book on the topic, what would your recommendations be?
- Is it possible to prepare yourself for any future unforeseen medical emergencies? And if so, how?
- Do you feel like one of the characters bears more blame for their current situation than the other? Why do you think that is? If you were Bonnie in this situation, would you stay with Mark or leave?
- In honor of the books that surround Mark in his new home and provide comfort, write a poem culled from words in the books on your own bookshelves or from the library. William S. Burroughs’ developed a method to create surprising juxtapositions, which involved cutting up words in books and then pasting them back together at random. Following this example, you can open a book and pick a word or a phrase that pops out at you to include in your poem and write it down on a piece of paper. Continue to do this from as many different books as you’d like until you have enough interesting and evocative words and phrases for you to play with. Bring them together and try to create a poem that speaks to the themes of loss, powerlessness, and regret within the film, Bonnie and Mark.
- “It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Bonnie said in the film. Can we envision what it should be like? Be a visual artist and have your way with the world through paint, ink, pencil, and collage. What does the ideal look like to you—either in Bonnie and Mark’s world or in your own? If visual art is not for you, try attacking this project with the written word. Show us how it should have been and how it should have tasted, smelled, and felt like.
- Take a family portrait. Use as broad or limited of a definition of ‘family’ as you like, but schedule a sitting, send the invites, and use the gathering as an opportunity to be grateful for each other and your current circumstances–whatever they may be. In this age of digital phone cameras, a professional photographer is not required, but costumes, dancing, and other entertainment can only add to the fun and celebration of each other.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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