Pittsfield Filmmaker Debuts Irene Documentary

08/16/12 5:50PM By Nina Keck
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Photo courtesy Angelique Lee
Filmmaker Marion Abrams, left, speaks with Pittsfield Town Clerk Patricia Haskins while shooting Flood Bound.

Pittsfield Film maker Marion Abrams says something amazing happened after Irene hammered her town. When locals realized they were cut off, had no power nor cell phone service they turned to each other and went to work.  Abrams was so moved by what she saw in her town of about 550 people that she made a movie about it, "Flood Bound."

While her house is still standing, she says it was touch and go for a while and most of her yard was washed away. Abrams says during and after the storm, she like everyone in town did what they could to help pick up the pieces.

"The guys with the excavators just started working without being asked, without being told," says Abrams.  " And the medical people set up a medical facility and parents started running a school to take care of kids on the green."

Someone else taught yoga, she says another woman cut hair - some people cooked.

"And I started videotaping ‘cuz that's what I do," says Abrams.  " I really wanted to tell the story about what happened in Pittsfield.  I felt like it was a really amazing, magical thing and I wanted people to understand and see it."  

Abrams admits she didn't film as much as she wanted to.

"If I saw somebody digging silt out of their house," she says, "I shouldn't be taking pictures of it.  I should be helping them or encouraging them but not sort of standing aside."    

Still, with 38 interviews, storm footage and photographs, Abrams weaves together an hour-long film that tells an intimate and powerful story of neighbors facing down their fears and coming together.

Vermont Public Television's Kathryn A Scott says, "Beyond just dealing with the flood and the anniversary, this particular film shows what I think Vermonters like to believe about themselves." 

Scott says VPT will broadcast Abrams' film, "Flood Bound," three times over the next 10 days.

Scott says you can't help but be moved by it. "I found my eyes welling up with tears just because I was overcome with emotion with how compassionate these people are in just simple ways how much they demonstrated their care for each other.  Truly," says Scott, " I'm not just saying that I get chills when I watch it.  It's the very best that Vermont offers to itself."

In the film, locals express how their feelings about the town and each other changed because of the storm.

Traci Templeton put it this way. "The people that I saw at the post office - now when I say hi to them we have this between us, we have what happened between us and for me that's pretty special and that's the magic."

Marian Abrams film, "Flood Bound" will be shown three times on Vermont Public Television.  Thursday, August 16 at 8pm, Monday, August 20 and Saturday, August 25 at 4pm.  

For more information on the movie, check out www.FloodBound.com

 

Courtesy of Courtney Desena
Filmmaker Marion Abrams records the week after Irene.

 

 

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