These three films tell a most remarkable story involving two very special people. They tell the story of Claire, who became so ill with cancer (and 200 hours of radiotherapy) that she almost died. Claire was so ill that she was admitted to a hospice. The care she received there, combined with the support of her primary carer Jackie, helped save her life.
Claire has an extraordinary insight into the experience of moving towards death – she is one of few people who can talk of such an experience from the inside. Jackie is Claire’s former partner. When their relationship ended, Jackie was distraught and for three years they didn’t see each other. But then Jackie learned of Claire’s illness…
The films are consciously not three minutes shorts full of soundbites. They range from 8 to almost 15 minutes long, and repay reflective watching. However if you have time only to watch one film, watch the final one - or even just the last few minutes of it.
The first film tells the narrative story starting with Claire’s diagnosis that an earlier cancer had returned and moving through treatment, the move to the hospice, and recovery.
The second film is Jackie’s story – a reflection on love and their relationship.
In the final film Claire talks of her experience of illness and how it has altered her perspective on life. She discusses her changing attitude to her own mortality, and what she has gained from being so ill. The film, and this set of films, ends with her account of an extraordinary dream.
This has been my first attempt at putting together film from my D800 using Adobe Premiere Pro. There are some learning points and some room for improvement – a few of the transitions could be smoother and I’d like to improve the sound and add titles and perhaps some background music. In a few months time I will upload reworked versions with those enhancements. But I don’t want to delay posting as I think the story in these films stands in its own right and is worth listening to – and it seemed a story worth sharing on Easter Sunday.
This film is part of an ongoing project looking at people who are near to death or are or have suffered from major illnesses, part of the A Graceful Death project. We are all mortal and all have to face the possibility of death at some point. Over time I intend that these films will become a resource showing how people face this, how they struggle and how they cope. I hope that these will become in themselves a reflection on mortality and a source of information and even comfort.
I have two more films to process, another project to start and a lot of learning to do, so watch this space.