ACTS OF WITNESS

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ACT ONE: THE DRESS


Film stills from the first act of Acts of Witness - The Dress: Daughter’s memory of her mother in the dress as she leaves for an evening out, “Bye bye.” Lisa Carswell as young mother.





Welcome to the website for Acts of Witness, a 25-minute film in three acts. This story follows Daughter’s journey with her close-knit family through the mother’s decline and death. As she travels from the first act to last, we witness the meaning Daughter receives from this most transformative of life experiences.

ACTS OF WITNESS: A SYNOPSIS

Acts of Witness is a film in three separate but interwoven acts, each composed in a style matched to its meaning.  The story in each act tells a different aspect of our protagonist DAUGHTER’s journey through her mother’s decline.

The first act is “The Dress,” the story of a middle-aged Daughter’s loss to dementia of her OLD MOTHER through the discovery and fleeting remembrance of a 1950’s haute couture cocktail dress.

The second act, End of the Male Narrative, So Sorry,” is on the surface a heated conversation about writing between Daughter and MADISON, a bright, young doctoral candidate in English.  Beneath the surface it questions if our inherited narratives are able any longer to provide us with meaning.

The third act, Survival of the Fittest,” charts the subterranean forces tilled up in the heart of Daughter by her mother’s passing, Daughter’s exploratory traverse with her FATHER across that mysterious territory where life meets death, and how Daughter’s passage through it all is sustained by the web of connectivity that is her family’s unrelenting try at love.

By its final act, Acts of Witness becomes a creative expression of what the first two acts have laid the groundwork for: a narrative that encourages our understanding of the challenging and continuous transformation which is the nature of life.