Nov. 14, 2012 - Issue #891: Heap and Pebble
When Eva Colmers was working on a documentary about the eldery for the National Film Board, she came across an article about "granny dumping": the growing trend of elderly people being dropped off at hospital ERs in the country without accompaniment, often confused, and really unable to navigate the situation for themselves.
"It was an article in the Post, and they looked at the problem primarily at the issue of efficient health-care service and the financial aspect of having so many elderly literally dropped off at the emergency," Colmers explains, sitting in a downtown café. "They often don't know why they are there, and doctors have a hard time dealing with it."
The article inspired Colmers to craft Granny Baby, a new, fictional short. It frames the issue through the eyes of a child, Jack, arriving at the hospital to pick up his mother and newborn baby sister. Sitting in the waiting room, he notices an elderly woman that nobody else seems to realize is present, or care that she's there alone.
"I looked at it from a more social point of view," Colmers says. "How come, as a society, there's nobody there to notice these things, or nobody there who can step in? And then I tried to juxtapose it with the attention or care we place on the beginning of life, and then the end of life.
"All across Canada, every day you will find elderies that are alone," she continues, noting that she was careful not to to make any accusations about the neglect. "It is a very complex situation, and it is far from me to say that kids or caregivers are not paying enough attention. What I more wanted to say is it really takes a village to look after our elders just like it takes a village to raise good children—that famous quote. "
In terms of filming, finding access to a hospital waiting room proved difficult: Colmers and her crew eventually transformed Avenue Theatre's lobby into hospital whites, in lieu of finding access to an existing ER—"I contacted various hospitals, but no luck," she says.
Granny Baby's already had a Calgary premiere, but its Edmonton screening will be accompanied by a Q&A, plus musical performances from the pair responsible for the short's sountrack: Cayley Thomas-Haug & Curtis Ross (Bebop Cortez, if you will).
"I'm aware of Bebop's music, and actually used it once in a very short scratch animation piece I did," Colmers explains. "But it was Caley whose voice I know and admire, and I was approaching her first, if [she could] sing the theme song.
"It was Caley who said that she recently had worked closely with Curtis Ross, and if that's fine with me," she continues. "Of course, I think that he's an incredible creative young man, and has an extremely wide spread of music. I know that the beautiful music he gave me for Granny Baby may not be the music he at other times composes and plays. But he gets the story, he gets the heart, so he created, I think something quite unusual and beautiful."
Sun, Nov 18 (5 pm)
Written & directed by Eva Colmers
Metro Cinema at the Garneau, $6 – $10
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