Through her dementia, a mother says “I love you” to her son for the first time in his life.
Written & Directed by Nathan Brewer
Produced by Torrance Shepherd
Director of Photography Alex Brown
Production and Costume Design Sarah Sophia Lidz
Editor Alexander Franke
This film is based on a beautiful piece called AFTER THE FORGETTING, which Erica Heilman produced for her podcast, Rumble Strip. The story is about an elderly mother who, through her dementia, started saying “I love you” to her son for the first time in his life. Her son’s feeling was that there was “no loss here,” if saying “I love you” was how she ended her life.
I wrote the music to represent the beauty of the mother’s dementia— she forgets that her favorite song was a tune that she once hated. The lyrics come from a Eugene O’Neill poem called “Song In Chaos”, as I thought that the words honored their relationship:
What if the world be mad, you are near
What if the mind be sad, you are here
In my heart
What if the dawn grows old in a world of fear
What if the spirit be cold, you are here
In my heart
Love is not mad, nor sad
Love is not old, nor cold
Love is here, in my heart for you,
In the film, the son is a piano player because I was a piano player, and I relate to this boy on many levels. Growing up, saying “I love you” was complex for my family. We deeply loved each other, but we had trouble being vulnerable and saying what we felt.
I am thankful that Erica Heilman allowed us to share Marjorie, Greg, and Bob’s story. Most of the dialogue in the present scenes come from their actual words. I took great liberties in creating a fictional past for this family, and I’m sure that Marjorie was a much better mother than Doris is in the film.
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 (16×9) | Camera: ARRI ALEXA Mini
Lenses: Cooke Panchro Classics | Sound: Stereo, Linear PCM 24bit 44.1Hz
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