While working on Disrupted, I spent a series of evenings having to sift through an array of unlabelled photographs- a collection of travels, family portraits, and memories which Wilton had tried throwing away, before Niki pulled them from the trash.
As I began to sort through these depictions of relatives I had never gotten the chance to meet, and the places, people, and instants they had decided were special enough to capture on film, I could not help but reflect on the ways through which we capture the essence of our living. These photographs contain a lifetime of reminiscences: do we remember through travel, adventure, through graduations and the family we’ve built? Do we remember through the years, 1956, ‘84, and the 1986 Ireland trip? Do we remember through money and funerals? Or do we remember the taking of one’s own life?
On our first day of rehearsal, Niki emphasized how difficult it can be not to let her father be defined by his final decision. The danger laid in forgetting an entire life lived. I believe this is ultimately what this piece aims to put right: it is a sifting through, and ordering of events, an act of remembrance. An ode to the living. For Disrupted remembers Wilton, yes, but it also remembers Niki herself. It remembers her family– it remembers the before and the after. It remembers the ongoing.
By way of these 10 chapters, Disrupted navigates past, present, and future, effectively putting forth an ambivalent and honest portrayal of Niki’s story. It is her life we “remember” in this film: her father and circumstances find themselves refracted, reclaimed, and reflected in her own coming-of-age, her own defining of the self. Through Dream and Doom, to Drink and Diet, to Decision– each and every disruption is accepted as a tangible part of her identity.
To every family who has had the strength to tell, retell their story,
To N D W.
To embracing the Disrupted.