Follow the five steps below to get the most out of your UnLonely Film Festival experience!
Step 1: Watch the film.
A unique depiction of the struggle to maintain a true identity in the face of loneliness and the kind of echo chamber of self-image that is often a part of memory loss. The filmmaker asks, “Can we continue to know ourselves when we have no recollection of our past actions and reactions? Do we adapt our identity to incorporate this loss into our life’s story? Or do we resign ourselves to wake up each day anew and if so, who are we?”
About the FIlmmaker
Hallie Bahn is an interdisciplinary artist working in stop-motion animation. Through her narratives and handcrafted sets, Bahn’s practice explores themes of time, memory, and self-preservation. Bahn is currently completing her MFA in Visual Studies at Minneapolis College of Art & Design.
Did you set out to explore loneliness in your film and if so, what prompted this focus?
“My film looks at memory loss and the isolation created by this private trauma with public consequences. I wanted to portray the loneliness and seclusion involved in trying to hide diminishing recall capacity.”
Did any of your viewers give you feedback that reflected this aspect of your film?
“My viewers immediately knew that the piece was about an older person who is struggling to deal with their declining memory. For those who have been around people suffering from a form of memory loss, they could recognize the symptoms and the mourning for a past self.”
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?
“I hope audiences realize that self-seclusion is not a choice in most cases, it is a tool people are using to handle their trauma. I hope that people think of not only the health concerns for older generations but the emotional trials and loneliness caused by the health concerns.”
Any other information of backstory you want to share about your film?
“The film was inspired by watching those I love lose their memory and seeing how it dragged them into a isolation as a coping mechanism.”
Step 2: Explore these things after watching the film.
- As it might take a few viewings to understand what this film is about, why do you think the filmmaker made the decision to make the film somewhat opaque and challenging to understand? What might the film’s mysteriousness along with the viewers’ own sense of confusion or disorientation bring to the overall experience of the film and its subject matter?
- How does the film’s title inform your understanding of the film? It hints at some kind of transformation or change in identity. Can you relate to that in your own life? Do you think of former versions of yourself and what changed over time?
- The character in the film leads a secluded life. What are things you can do now to better ensure that you will maintain connections with people over the course of your life?
- Think back over the past few days: Were there days when you didn’t feel quite like yourself? But push yourself further: how were you unlike yourself? Gruff, like a bear? Tired, like a sloth? Timid, like a shadow? Take a pen/pencil and a piece of paper (or calendar!) and draw yourself as those animals—or other shapes/characters that accurately capture how you were feeling on the ‘off’ days—for as long as you can accurately reflect and remember. Do you see a pattern?
- Make a flip book. To understand and appreciate the artistry and patience of the artist in staging and shooting her film, create a flip book to create the illusion of movement. See a tutorial here. For this project, illustrate a time you’ve undergone some kind of transformation, keeping your illustrations simple and easy to replicate. You can choose to include a cause for this transformation or decide to focus on the transformation itself. Like the filmmaker, exaggerate the transformation for dramatic effect.
- Are there people in your life struggling with memory loss or who are living a secluded life? Would it be possible for you to identify one person and take an hour to visit with them? If you can bring photos of them from the past or music that they grew up with, it can help connect them to positive memories.
Our Try This page has even more creative expression inspiration!
Step 3: Join in the conversation about the film.
Your Support Helps!
We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.