In the filmmaker's own words…
“During the spring recesses from the undergraduate film production workshops that I teach at Yale and Columbia Universities, I visited my brother in the high security lockdown ward with the ironic acronym of POSH-- Portland, Oregon State Hospital. Getting a court-ordered involuntary commitment was a tedious, bureaucratic, dangerous ordeal. Duanne told me his iPhone had been confiscated because he had been recording on the floor. He wanted me to retrieve it in order to extract the footage and make a documentary film of his experience. What he did not tell me at the time is that the phone contained approximately 250 video clips filmed over the course of two years that unwittingly chronicle his ever-loosening grip on reality. The footage is raw, disturbing and includes a scary rant during a suicide attempt the top of Multnomah Falls.
His own youthful days as a student filmmaker enhance the quality and substance of the videos even if his intention was not a narrative aesthetic. Since he gave me the footage over a year ago, I have returned to Portland bi-monthly with a camera and recorded our battles with this insidious illness. This is not a film I want to make, but feel compelled to make. The exposure, vulnerability and familial tragedy we feel is compensated by the power this film has to illuminate. My parents, both proud and private people, participate despite the shame and stigma because they have hope that this film might provide insight and understanding. My father's dementia has been exacerbated considerably by the bizarre and frustrating behavior of my brother. We missed all the clues in his young adulthood, perhaps blinded and dazzled by his talents, as well as his adoring parents and loyal friends. The reason for the rarity of the "late-onset" is that we did not know how to read the atypical clues. Doctors have hypothosized that symptoms of the illness did not manifest themselves in his early adulthood because he was tobacco, drug and alcohol free. It is unclear if addiction to these substances exposes the mental illness; it is possible that mental illness is simply more easily identified when one is being treated for the effects of substance abuse.”
-Sandra Luckow, filmmaker