Three Daughters, Three Quests, Three Legacies
Set in a world of magical realism, an artist explores the impact of memory through the quests of three women haunted by their parents’ mysterious pasts. A writer, a therapist and a doctor, each woman was left fragments of stories that don’t can’t add up. As they travel the world in search of answers, they grapple with the pain of remembering and the pain of forgetting. Can they tap into the power of the imagination to build on and reinterpret their loss? Each woman's memories are portrayed in hand-painted animation, with colors that drip, layer and bleed into each other, giving a vivid and visceral experience of what it is to remember.
The earth shatters for Victoria when she is 4 years old and her father comes home on Mother’s Day and reveals that he is gay and HIV positive. He kills himself 2 days before her 11th birthday. At 23, her confusion about who he was compels her to revisit the past for answers. She goes on a journey to reexamine her memories: “I had been carrying my father around throughout my childhood and my adolescence and my early adulthood. And I couldn't bear that weight for the rest of my life.”
Karen believes her alcoholic father, a World War II veteran with PTSD, never loved her. When he dies and she has to write for his memorial; “Every thought I had, every memory I had of my Dad was painful and disappointment.” She decides to investigate his past. In researching the pieces of his early life, she connects his experience on the battlefield "at age 17 fighting for his life," with her own on a football field in Michigan at age 17, "fighting for his love."
In 5th grade, Rebekah stumbles upon the fact that her mother is Holocaust survivor. She realizes “I had opened the door to this room that I wasn't supposed to enter.” Ten years later her mother is dying of cancer. In her final days she reveals heartbreaking stories about her childhood hiding in the jewish ghettos from nazi officers. Rebekah struggles to reconcile the strong maternal figure she grew up with, with her mother’s horrifying childhood. “There’s a sense of unreality that this person who had a certain kind of a life in New York City married to my father, with her three kids and her coffee cup in the morning could also have lived through such traumatic circumstances. Most of the people that she loved died in terrifying circumstances. I just couldn't wrap my mind around it.”
Feel Memory combines live action, archival recordings and interviews with magical realist hand-painted animation
Memory is the story we tell of how we become who we are. Scientific research shows that we can use the dynamic nature of memory to unshackle ourselves from our pasts. When we reshape our memories, we can change who we are and open ourselves up to wider possibilities of who we might become.
Can Victoria, Karen and Rebekah build fuller pictures of who their parents were, reshape their memories of them and in doing so, summon the hope and courage to envision their own futures?