Frameline 2013 Report: Days 6 – “Where I Am”

Where I Am

jdO-xySXSDQ5zuYamQEgScx6B0rUpK9O9J3NMZ4AwGU,7hal9N_c5DY4uzjatkc1lz9Tz-RCusJoOL78dfJ2p0k,m6FFKFJ01VN6yNYoSpTWl85tw9eVL-oxeZrIBlXqO0Etwo-stars1In 1999 gay American author Robert Drake was brutally beaten and left to die in the streets of his then home of Sligo, Ireland. As a result of this incident Drake’s life has never been the same. Aside from the slowing of his speech, his reliance on a wheelchair, and the 24-hour assistance he receives while traveling, he has lost the ability to do what it is he was once so good at – writing novels. Fortunately, Drake’s memories of the attack are non-existent. Just how much of an effect his lack of remembering has contributed to his extraordinary ability to whole-heartedly forgive his assailants is anybody’s guess. Also anybody’s guess, why director Pamela Drynan‘s absent of depth or focus on any of the more interesting aspects of this story.

Sure, it was nice, even inspiring, to hear and see how Drake is presently coping with his predicament, but there is so much more to this story that could have been explored. Though Drynan hints at taking the story in different directions, she never does, other than a few sentences here and there regarding the more interesting tidbits. The details of the trial, Drakes relationship with his caretaker of 10 years, the many differences in Drake’s personality both pre and post-attack; all of these aspects receive nothing more than a mere glossing over.

Now I realize that the film is called Where I Am, and that its main focus is on Robert Drake and, well… where he is now, but I guess I’m just disappointed because I would have like to have seen a little more overall depth. It’s way too easy to elicit sympathy from your viewers by simply placing a video camera on a survivor of a nasty hate crime, but even Drynan’s attempt at creating an intimate portrait of Drake is lacking.

Robert Drake has nothing but my utmost admiration, especially in his capacity to forgive. If I were in his shoes I can’t say I’d be as forgiving. Heck, I have even a hard time forgiving such frivolous things as film directors who only put out average cinema.

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Categories: Frameline, Reviews

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