John Moran on the remarkable story told in Where I Am, which screened as part of the 2013 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
Where I Am
Sat, 16th February
Where I Am, a documentary by first-time filmmaker Pamela Drynan, earned a standing ovation last night following its screening in the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
The film tells the story of Robert Drake, an American writer who returns to Ireland 10 years after he suffers debilitating injuries in a gay bashing in Sligo. He recounts his ongoing recovery and sets off on a journey to find out how his attackers’ lives have been, compared to his, over the past decade.
Mr Drake’s capacity to forgive his assailants makes his story remarkable. His resilience, humour and optimism make the film a surprising pleasure to watch.
Brian Finnegan, editor of GCN, described his presence at the screening as making his story come full circle, in that it was being witnessed. His injuries prevented his attendance at court during the trial of his attackers. They frustrated his career as a writer. Confined to wheelchair, he now uses a modified keyboard and types one letter at a time, making long pieces difficult.
Following the screening, Mr Drake described seeing his life on-screen as surreal. The audience applauded when one viewer spoke out being overwhelmed by his bravery. Another asked Mr Drake for some tips on how he maintains his optimism.
Festival director Gráinne Humphreys introduced the film as ‘a beautiful story of pain and hope’ told with incredible simplicity and honesty. Ms Drynan hopes the film will find a wider audience. An accomplished film telling an important story, it deserves no less.
Check out our exclusive interview with director Pamela Drynan in the current issue of Film Ireland magazine, available now.