Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
When Laura was 5 years old, her father moved out of the home and into a trailer in the backyard and never told his family why. Exploring her parents’ much-reported story of war-time love and reunion, the filmmaker uncovers the source of her father’s self-isolation, the extent of his wartime injuries and the mysteries of family and love.
About the FIlmmaker
Laura Snow is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker whose work includes work on projects for VICELAND and The Documentary Group, as well as filmmakers Morgan Spurlock (Inside Man), Kim A. Snyder (Newtown), Tracie Holder (Joe Papp in Five Acts) and Immy Humes (Doc). Laura is also a resident collaborator of The Feath3r Theory, where she has created performative video installations since 2013.
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- How do you feel the filmmaker came to terms with her dad leaving them for the backyard camper? Have you experienced the sense that someone has left you and the relationship but remained physically present? How did you come to terms with such a confusing situation?
- The home videos and old photographs played an important role in providing the visual context for her father’s story. Do you have any old photos, home movies that you keep and preserve? How important do you think it is to look back at the past as you move forward?
- Who was the first person who you felt you could be yourself around? Do you remember the ways in which you chose to reveal yourself emotionally in a way that was new and scary? Are you still in touch with the person today?
- Use pencil/pen on a small piece of paper to sketch the place where you feel at peace, similar to the filmmaker’s father who was seemingly happiest and most at home on the island on Lake Champlain. Try to add as many distinct details as possible while thinking about the peaceful feeling the place inspires. Once you’ve completed your sketch, reflect on the experience. How did you feel while drawing? Tuck your work into your wallet or into a coat pocket so that its rediscovery will inspire the feeling all over again.
- Re-tell your family history by putting yourself in the shoes of another family member. Begin by studying your family’s visual record (photo albums, home videos, etc.) and by selecting a family member whose perspective you would like to understand better. Then assemble the materials as best you can in chronological order and begin to analyze the images to get a sense of the changes between the photos and, more broadly, what was happening with the person at each moment captured. Write down your sense of the story as depicted in the photos and videos and share with the selected person or other family members to discuss and share memories.
- Create a family movie about your current family unit, however it is comprised, whether it’s a close group of friends, a child, or an extended family of eight. Record a typical gathering—a meal, an outing, an afternoon in the yard—but be sure not to stop the recording when the conversation lulls. The goal of the recording is to capture everyone as they are together, speaking or not. Once you have recorded the event and possibly a few other occasions, schedule a home movie night and screen the footage for everyone involved.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
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