SYNOPSIS: Does witnessing a catastrophe render the world uninhabitable? BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA explores the incursion of an unimaginable event on everyday experience. The filmmaker gives her account of a mid-air collision between two prop planes over Lake Michigan, inventing stories to minimize the damage on her, other eyewitnesses and the passengers involved in the crash. As time expands and words lose their ability to comfort, she debates whether to stay frozen or continue forward.
DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: The film you're about to see was realized after 16 years and three attempts since I wrote the voice over hours after witnessing a plane crash. The first attempt to make the film began with a recreation of the 'before' - a pleasant day at the beach with friends. It was shot on 16 mm with 2 hired actors and Judith and Dave, 2 of the friends who had been there that day. I even cast a whippet to appear in the film. The footage was processed, I optically printed some of it, transferred and edited it. I directed the actress in a voice over session, but the film did not work and I shelved it. A few years later I re-edited the footage, recorded the voice over with a different actress and incorporated news footage into the visuals. The result was better, but still not right. The story continued to haunt me for years. While I'm a director, I had to admit that the film required my voice, which will always betray the emotional impact of the crash. Directing another person to this private, horrific space exceeds my abilities. Or maybe I refuse to take anyone there. The visuals in the first attempts were also too busy. When I think of this day, it is the water and the carmex bottle in the waves that repeat on a loop. This mundane relic belonging to one of the victims of the crash is the image I cannot escape. It is one of life's unbearable details.