'What's the worth of truth in a country bound by apathy'
As the years roll on the unifying threads within my work become more tangible. In making documentaries I'm trying to communicate a truth about connection. Documentary film helps me express the importance of this in my own life - to share with the world a personal truth that I struggle to explain in other ways.
So in order to make work I need to find characters who's lives I can creatively hijack. These films are as much about me as they are about the character within them. I may feel a kinship or shared belief, or there may be something captivating about their character that helps me understand my own. Perhaps they can just explain the world better than I can. The reason I gravitate towards characters has been a mystery to me for many years, but I'm starting to understand it now.
I met Sam 6 or 7 years ago, he was living in a barn loft at Sprint Mill. I remember there being a couch, a cooking stove and a cheap gas fire to huddle around and not much else. I was impressed with his ability to exist in these surroundings. He's gone soft now and lives in a house with a loving family.
Sam builds walls for a living, harnessing skills and creativity, of which he has much. He feels things, and is intent on telling people about it. It may involve getting drunk and throwing things at people, writing poems, shouting into a microphone, singing folk songs, or building walls. So many people are afraid to speak their mind, be vulnerable, to not conform, to feel things - so it's a relief when someone comes along and just says it.
Blackthorn is a 15 minute documentary film about connection to the land, masculinity, anger and understanding. We are currently in the editing and post production stages and plan to release when festivals resume in 2021.