My friend Leslie Epperson is making a documentary. She needs cash. Give as you can. The Indiegogo link is at the bottom of this post. And below is her pitch. A very worthy artistic venture. Again, I know it's hard time but give if you have a little extra.
Many Bones, One Heart is a documentary in progress about the All Souls Procession in Tucson, and the artists struggling to produce the event, despite conflicts brought on by its growing size. I want to explain why this project is so dear to my heart. When I saw the All Souls Procession in 2004, I was dazzled by the imaginative artwork on display, and pleased by the unusual mixture of sobriety and joy. The participants were a wonderfully diverse group, composed of many ethnicities and all ages.
I soon noticed that some people were carrying photographs of dead loved ones. Still others were rolling carefully constructed shrines honoring the deceased. I began to understand that something important was happening here; something I had not seen before. People were opening up, publicly sharing the loss of a loved one. I began to feel a roller coaster of emotion. One moment I would laugh with delight at some outrageous invention, or find myself moving to irresistible drumbeats, and the next, my eyes would fill with tears as a participant passed by with carefully arranged photos of a dead wife, or a father, or a child.
I have also experienced loss. I lost my health in a car accident, and a long marriage after revelations of betrayal. But the most significant loss was the death of My Mother, Jeanne, in 1968. When my sister Nora died a few years ago, I lost not only my best friend, but also my strongest connection to my Mother. I am dedicating Many Bones, One Heart to their memory.
"Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on." Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese. This documentary is not about me. I hope that presenting the stories of loss and recovery from the characters in the film will encourage those still suffering from the fresh wounds of grief. In this time of cynical pop culture and ongoing wars, I feel called to offer an alternative view of humanity. Depicting the beautiful art and compassionate behavior evident at the Procession and even more apparent at the Procession of Little Angels will offer clear examples of the kindness dwelling in most human hearts. And it is a challenge and an honor to portray the generosity of spirit that underlies the determined efforts of the artists that bring Tucson the All Souls Procession, year after year.
I want to acknowledge the example of author Laura Hillenbrand as the inspiration for this undertaking. She wrote the NY Times Bestsellers SeaBiscuit and Unbroken, despite struggling with severe chronic illness. In an interview, Hillenbrand says that writing about her characters allowed her to experience their resilience and courage. After reading this, I decided to ignore my own health problems and return to documentary filmmaking. It might be the best decision I ever made.
We have over a month to reach our goal on the IndieGoGo crowd funding site. We will use whatever we raise to enable production this fall. I have uploaded 2 new videos since we started the campaign, and Kathleen Dreier and Emily Ann Jones have added several new photographs. Here is the link to the campaign page: www.indiegogo.com/Many-Bones-One-Heart?a=123972
The great thing about crowd funding is that every little bit counts--small donations grow to form a big pool of funds. $10.00 pledges are welcome! If you like what you see, please forward the link to friends.
I will write again soon and keep you updated on our progress.
All my best,
Leslie Ann Epperson
Director, SmallWheel Films