EARTH CAMP ONE

In 1990, my father died of heart disease. In 1996, I lost both my mother and grandmother to cancer. In 1998, my uncle, the film director Alan J. Pakula, died in a freak accident on the Long Island Expressway. And early in 2000, my brother Jonas died suddenly, from causes it took time, and a private investigator, to fully understand. After my brother’s death, I wasn’t quite sure if I could go on; I also noticed that family, friends and colleagues were at a total loss as to what to do or say. In fact, it seemed that many actually feared my misfortune was contagious.

As Oscar Wilde wrote: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” A meditation on impermanence, Earth Camp One – a feature length film – uses first-person storytelling, humor, archival footage, and animation to explore how it is to live in a world where everything and everyone disappears. And where the process of grieving the dead is as imperfect as the challenge of appreciating the living. The film also recalls a hippie summer camp in the 1970s, the connection being that when we’re young, we often want to break away from our families: what happens when they leave us? Finally, how does the microcosm of our own losses reflect the macrocosm, the shared losses, of history and politics?

- Jennie Livingston