This coming June 10th-12th, 2011, at the Maysles Cinema we celebrate the 3rd Annual Grey Gardens Staunch Fest, a weekend long celebration of Staunch Families, families whose members despite everything 'don't weaken, no matter what', for better or worse. Featured in the festival, on June 11th at 3 pm, is a special screening of Kavery Kaul's powerful Back Walking Forward that follows the daily struggles of Eric Michalowski and his parents ten years after a near-fatal car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury. This family defines 'staunch' - powerfully fighting every inch of the way for Eric to make progress, knowing he won't ever be the same. The film revels in the powerful, sometimes humorous, and often poetic ways in which Eric (and his family members) now conceives of his world and himself.
Ticket also covers the 5:30pm Screening of Grey Gardens!
Back Walking Forward Dir. Kavery Kaul, 2011, 40 min.
Back Walking Forward tells an inspiring story about the aftermath of brain injury. A car accident left Eric with traumatic brain injury. Modern medicine enables most brain injury patients to survive coma, but what happens after that? On the unpredictable road to recovery, an active young man suddenly bound to a wheelchair, unable to start college, Eric struggles to relearn life skills, as he searches for a place in a once-familiar world. His family must redefine happiness, as they too search for a "new normal". They wander the borderland between hope and despair. Will Eric walk again? According to the International Brain Injury Association, traumatic brain injury is the prime cause of disability worldwide. Roadside bomb explosions leave young men and women with this "signature wound" of today's wars. In conflict zones, military and civilians both share the risk. At home, a car accident, a sudden fall, a sports injury leaves so many lives forever altered --- without warning. Back Walking Forward puts a much-needed human face on this major public health issue. Eric's parents and neurosurgeon give us the caregiver's perspective and the medical context. At the same time, filmmaker Kavery Kaul focuses on Eric, a lively, capricious, defiant main character who engages and surprises us, in this unusual story filled with laughter, determination and love.
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