This is the first real post-reaching-our-goal update. Again, thank you for your generous support of “That Way Madness Lies..” In the midst of teaching two production classes this fall, one at Barnard College and one at Columbia University, as well as being an advisor to four freshman at Yale, I am gearing up for another shoot in Portland, Oregon probably around the first couple weeks of October.
My brother, Duanne, continues to live at the transitional housing, The Bridgeview, in southwest Portland, still in the depths of crisis and lacking any insight into his situation. His religious fervor and end-of-days writings have reached a new frenzy. He blames the government, the Rothchilds, Satan and me for all of his discomfort. Through a friend he did relay 80th birthday wishes to our father which I took as a hopeful sign.
I am suing the squatter that has moved into his house and, who I recently found out, sold his entire workshop of machinist equipment (easily worth $200,000) for $20,000 cash. As my brother’s limited conservator to the property, not the equipment, I have absolutely NO recourse. She was paid in cash. Getting her off the property is going to be both tricky and costly. I can’t bar her from the property because her name is not on the court order for me to handle and sell the property. (However, the court is on my back for not proceeding to put the house on the market as ordered.) In the state of Oregon, if a person stays more than 7 days on a property, even if they were initially invited, they are considered a resident and cannot be kicked off. Eviction law does not apply to a squatter because there is no contract that has been violated by the squatter so the land-owner has no cause. So, 8-10 thousand dollars and maybe 6-12 months later, I have a chance of getting her out.
Among the many tragedies of this situation is that she also is mentally ill and utterly belligerent. She and Duanne make it a full-time activity in filing complaints and counter complaints at every agency they have ever encountered. She insists that she bought the house from Duanne for $6000 and has the title to it even though my father’s name is on the deed and he did not sign it over to her or anybody. It astounds me that she is so protected and gets her day in court when she is so clearly in the wrong. A upstanding citizen would never get away with this sort of thing.
This issue of “protection” of a mentally ill person is one that I truly want to explore in the film. I am beginning to understand that we are protecting not the person with the illness but our society from having to be proactive. It seems we are putting systems in place to relieve ourselves from the responsibility and therefore the liability of doing the right thing. It is, at the very minimum, frustrating and infuriating.
I am going to be migrating information from Kickstarter to the websitewww.madnessthemovie.com. I hope that you will check it frequently. I am in the process of applying for fiscal sponsorship through the International Documentary Association. All grants and donations can go through them with the tax deductions that are available to a 501 ©3. With the help of some volunteers through professional networks, I am beginning the grantwriting process. If you have any suggestions considering the topic of this film, please do not hesitate to contact me. The film is currently budgeted at $750,000. We have raised a little over $40,000.
I have just sent a large quanitity of 8mm and Super 8mm films to a lab for frame by frame digital scan and restoration. Some of these are home movies and some are movies my brother made as a young adult. It will be interested to see if there is anything in that footage that might suggest we would be where we are today.
I am also looking into interviewing the woman my brother secretly married 12 years ago – and never divorced – who is 28 years his senior. We found out about this marriage two years ago when during his first hospital stay a social worker asked if he had ever been married and he replied, “Sort of…” So far, this woman has stone-walled my requests to speak to her. I also would like to interview the current object of my brother’s erotomania, a woman 19 years his junior whom he has never personally met; an Indigo Crystal Child who lives in Canada. I want to understand their perspectives, hoping that there are some keys to understanding my brother.
So, there you have it for now. Enjoy the fall and all the variety of color it brings. I will be in touch.
Sandra Luckow is an award winning filmmaker based in New York City. Her films include: Sharp Edges; Belly Talkers; A World Within; That Way Madness Lies…
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