First Time – Film Making

I made a film called ‘Loss and Connection’ last year.   It was a program with the ACH group, called ‘Good Lives on film’

The link is here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsGdHclvzic&list=PLDBd1LjxBpIg3VugViSTiLebEwmNyDmvu&index=3

Last week I did a radio interview with Fiona from ACH, about making the film.  My interview starts at 11.20mins.  And Ross Womersley from SACOSS spoke about it after some music at 32.29mins.

https://radio.adelaide.edu.au/program-guide/listen-online/?sh=small-change&d=201702141800&q=h

I wrote this little story after the ‘red carpet night’ when the films from the course were shown at the Mercury Theatre.

FIRST TIME

I stand in the spotlight looking out through a haze

Foggy day.  Dust specked aura of bright light night

Who do you address when you cannot see the audience?

I’d never thought about it; never expected to be here myself.

A platform a microphone and no one to stop me

Surely the chandelier will crash from on high

But it is the friendly ghosts who stand with me now

 

I’m speaking to and for the Great Unknown; those who’ve gone before

And those who are yet to come

And I speak to the unknown people out there and my friends

Fellow film makers and those who care about what we are doing.

Some have come for the entertainment

No one expects a political speech, except those who know me.

 

I’m wearing blue; my mother dressed me in sky blue

People said it suited me; blue of the blues

I don’t wear it often anymore

But tonight I’m swimming in an ocean of unkowns

Comforted in the waters of the womb

Strength and endurance from my days as a swimmer

Stroking alone for hours philosophising not socialising

Alone is what I know well.  So I speak from the deep.

Seeds and shells around my neck

I connect to the land that nurtures and the water that contains

Never in my life before have I selected clothes for an event

Or expected to find in my wardrobe something ‘just right’

And I feel OK.  Sixty-seven years preparing for today

I belong in my skin.  I reside within.  And things can only get better.

 

I say ‘I came with no experience as a film maker’ and think or even as a member of an audience

‘And I have never told my story’ I continue

‘As an adult adopted at birth, I have carried my mother’s shame and the secrets and lies of my life.’

Nothing descends from on high and I continue somehow

I wish I’d asked someone to record this.  I think only of behaving responsibly

Don’t say ‘adoption is a life sentence’.  Don’t say what is in the film

Maybe I say ‘when the doctor asks,  there’s no medical history; no history at all.

 

I look to Fiona at the dais and she asks about my group

‘Ah, the ad break’, I think

‘IdentityRites’ and I spell out r-i-t-e-s and add dot org

Everyone speaks this funny language now.  I move to hand back the microphone.

But forces rally around me within me and I add

‘in our name we express concern for all other false identities

Created for donor conceived people and through surrogacy arrangements.

And in a moment of passion I add ‘if we have learnt anything from adoptees

We can expect children born through surrogacy arrangements will have the hardest time of all’.

There! I did it! And I hand back the microphone.

 

My film shows and the job is complete.  My film is different, my life is different.  I will never again be my mothers’ secret drowning in their lives’  lies.

 

Later someone from the audience tells me she’s making a film on egg donation and I ask if she has seen the film ‘eggsploitation’.  I have an ally from an unexpected source.

Another woman tells me now she understands better an elderly friend who was adopted and they look forward to showing her the film.

Surrounded by friends and others who have paid me the respect of honouring my journey.  The first time in my life I’m proud of an achievement and having accepted the help of others to get here.

I am not alone.  I am truly happy.  I celebrate with friends.

 

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About sofie gregory

I'm an adoptee; co-founder of the group IdentityRites - peer support and advocacy for adoptees.
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