A full spectrum of emotions on the most memorable day of shooting for the @gatherfilm feature doc. ~
This particular evening started by getting attacked (and almost having my camera batted out of my hands) by an angry Apache youth under the heavy substance influence. This location was the Bashas Parking lot, the local grocery store. Over the last year of shooting on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona, we’ve avoided this place as it seemed to be where the roughest characters congregate. Our first visit was with @nephi_craig picking up his daughter Kaya from school where he acted like it was a military strike operation to get her in and out quickly. ~
On this day we planned to meet @twila_cassadore_ there for a ‘Mothers Against Meth’ candlelight vigil. The scene was set with one of those desert rain storms where every 20 minutes or so sun comes through clouds and produces rainbows and sunshine while the rain keeps spattering. Nobody showed up initially for the gathering so for the next hour @twila_cassadore_ and I (and @daharbfilm @chzamag @mrsanjayr ) wandered the parking lot talking to hard up characters I never would have faced alone. ~
Twila is a master local food forager and part of the wave of natives changing the food and mental health narrative in Indian country, one of the heroes of the film. Like a lot of our characters she had been through some of the deepest traumas in her own life but has come out the other side with wisdom and abilities to heal. She approached each rough groups in the parking-lot with kindness and was able to recruit a few folks to attend the vigil. ~
Those moments were certainly among the most unexpectedly and meaning verite scenes of the entire film thus far. ~
Finally the storm subsided with dark eerie clouds still hanging low. As darkness fell, Twila led a small group in a healing ceremony holding candles lit in Dixie cups, sharing stories, singing songs. The same youth that scared me was still there, still belligerent but also holding a flame participating. Positive change happening right before our eyes. Fear to wonder to appreciation to hope. The full spectrum indeed.