with everything I owned packed in the back of our red mini van, we set out on a journey we started planning while (heavily) drinking mezcal. so it was essentially foolproof from the start. less than an hour after leaving brooklyn we were in farm land and I was already sick of being in the car. new jersey was a lot of realizations: gas is expensive, audiobooks are essential, and different worlds are only a few highways away. leaving my little world in the big city was overwhelmingly painful and sniffly but there was never a thought of turning back, just leaning forward.
When I was younger, I loved taking part in protests and debates of all varieties; I was filled with so much passion for things I was maybe too young to comprehend. I had just arrived at college in New York City when Occupy Wall Street popped up on the scene and I felt pulled in so many directions. During a time when I was supposed to be exploring my beliefs, trying new things, and building character, I found myself feeling deflated and disenchanted. My friend from high school, Megan Meo, came to visit me in the city and mentioned that she and her friends at Hampshire College were starting to organize a cross-country bicycle trip to learn more about the cooperative movement in the United States. The only previous contact I had had with cooperatives was shopping at REI, but talking to her peaked my interest in the cooperative model, and even more so in this group of people who were not embittered, who were organized and ready to fight for their future. It felt like a spark in my life.
I was drawn to the story of youth and self-discovery, of idealistic themes grounded in tangible work. I was searching for very personal answers, something that would bring me closer to the optimism of youth that had once enriched my life so greatly. I set out hoping to capture this spirit, and we did. The associate producer, cinematographer and myself were participant-observers on the trip, which meant that we were members of this collective, took part in all group voting, but still had our own objective goals in tact. Navigating this relationship, and traveling with my subjects for three months, was the greatest lesson of my continued education.
To the Moon highlights so many of this country’s struggles on a very personal level. The Co-cyclers come face to face with issues of food accessibility, privilege within the cooperative movement, factory farming, and even health care. They bicycled an average of 70 miles a day all while maintaining a schedule, making connections, and pondering these concerns. I wish I could tell you that they discovered game changing results on their travels, but instead there were only more questions – the kind of questions that propel us forward as a society.
From the onset of making this film we knew that what we were setting out to do was the most intense thing any of us had ever done, but it became quite clear very quickly that it would also be one of the most important. At the heart of the heavy topics conjured up by the journey is an adventure of a lifetime taken on by a group of fun-loving friends. They are likeable and relatable characters, unlike most social issue films, there is no overpowering voice persuading us what to believe. These characters become like friends, their struggles become ours and our empathy pulls us into their world, into our country
Few have the opportunity to travel across the country in this deliberate manner so I hope that the audience is able to connect with this vast and diverse country in a way they have never been able to. My hope for this film is that it appeals to all age groups, but the college age population in particular – for they will be carrying the generations to come. I know that I would rather be led by an inquisitive youth who believe they can accomplish a feat as harrowing as building a bridge to the moon than succumb to disillusionment.
sometimes my dad can’t sleep, he stays up at night thinking about all the choices he has made and just lays there wondering where he has gone wrong. learning this made me sad, made me wonder why he would regret the choices that led him to mom and john and katie and me. I was afraid that if he worried hard enough something would change in our collective history and I would be returned to the ever of whatever came before me.
most of my nights are sleepless too because I don’t feel free. and I don’t feel seen (I don’t see myself). and I wonder where I went wrong. (is that normal? and will this ever stop?).
I haven’t had anything to write about or talk about or piece-together about in a long time. I haven’t felt moved, not in my soul or my heart or my feet.
people tend to lose their minds when they try to make their first feature film and I am realizing how that insanity manifested within me in so many subtle and unexpected ways. I really lost it (I lost myself). I felt inadequate and afraid every single day of my life. not just a small tinge of worry, it was a wave that flooded every inch of my thoughts. and that rippled into my friendships and my communication skills and my ideas of what I thought I wanted for three years of my life. and now that it’s done and we’re showing this thing that we made to people it feels incredibly anticlimactic. It feels like nothing at all, actually. (is that bad to say?)
I started something I wasn’t ready for. but I’m glad I started it and I don’t want anything to change in our collective history, I don’t want to return it to the ever. I am still clearing the water out of the crevasses of my toes (I know that I don’t have to let the water in next time//I can bring a lifejacket).
I’m excited to start a new project. it’s the opposite of the former and I don’t think that’s by accident. there are no expectations, no waiting audience, it is personal and when I think about it my heart warms and soars. It is my little secret lover of a project, an elopement without the contractual binding. It is my salvation, my savior. It is leaving new york city, it is westward, it is homeward.
the decision to leave new york felt like a flood of something else, it felt like life itself (what is that made of?). whatever it is cried me to sleep for four nights straight, which made space for love and hope and ambition again. I suddenly loved my friends (my east coast family) deeper, I loved them with the romance of joan didion (because it’s harder to see the ends of things). but new york is ending for me, and there is some shame in that. and I mask the shame with ramblings of new dreams (which terrify and excite me) and sometimes those words feel like what people say when they are left. It’s not the city, it’s me.
I hope that what I love stops trying to drown me because I have no idea what I’m doing (is that still ok?).
Trailer de la pieza de sonido Puertos para descubrir e interactuar con las sonoridad de la Ciudad de la Habana.
so honored to be working with such amazing artists and friends (!!!!)