A devoted wife whose husband is debilitated by Huntington’s disease struggles to find meaning in their existence.
Writer/director/producer: Ana de Lara
“I do not have Huntington’s Disease (HD), nor does anyone in my family. Thankfully.
It is a devastating hereditary brain disorder with symptoms that are akin to having Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s simultaneously.
There is no cure.
I first heard about HD when I saw a television program about Carol Carr’s criminal trial. Carr was imprisoned at the age of 64 for the assisted suicide of her two sons who were both severely ill with HD.
It was Carr’s story and her beautiful and complex devotion that compelled me to create Near Silence.
While doing research for my script, I discovered that HD was originally called Huntington’s chorea, which means dance or choreography in Greek. The term refers to the involuntary, jerky movements that are comparable to dancing, which can develop in the later stages of the disease.
The word chorea inspired me to depict the characters in Near Silence as being trapped in an incessant and involuntary dance that only ends with death.
My aim was not to create a dance performance piece, but rather to integrate elements of dance in a narrative film.
Near Silence has been my most personally rewarding film to date because of the feedback I have received – especially from those who are intimately affected by Huntington’s disease.
I hope many more people are motivated to learn about HD and join the journey to find a cure.
I am thankful for my talented and devoted crew who worked tirelessly to make this beautiful film with me; my gifted and brave actors who brought the characters to life with honesty and depth; BC Arts Council, National Film Board and CineVic for their valuable support; and my colleagues, friends and family who donated equipment, props, set pieces, vehicles and their time to our production.”
About Ana de Lara
Ana de Lara’s award-winning short films have screened internationally at festivals including the Montreal World Film Festival and the Rhode Island Independent Film Festival.
She is a Women in the Director’s Chair alumnae and serves on the board of directors as president for CineVic, a co-op of independent filmmakers in Victoria.
Ana won the jury prize for best narrative short in the 2011 Women in Film Festival (Vancouver) for Near Silence. She was also a finalist for the 2010 Lindalee Tracey award.
In addition to being a filmmaker, Ana keeps her creative fire burning as an actor, stand-up comic and poet.