From a Light Within

A heartwarming story of brotherly love at the darkest time of year.

Each year, despite his challenges, Bill decorates his house with Christmas lights. Memories of days gone by inspire and guide his work. This year Bill decorates with special purpose: his brother is coming!

Accessible versions

With descriptive video
With captioning

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Beth Wishart MacKenzie
Cinematographer: Richard Gustavsen
Editor, colourist: Sarah Taylor
Audio post: John Blerot

Filmmaker’s statement

From a Light Within features my neighbour, Bill Thompson, a man with an indomitable spirit. I have watched him navigate the world around him for years, never letting his disability of blindness inhibit his full engagement in life.

What seems remarkable to others is just ordinary to him, like decorating his house in Christmas lights when winter sets in. His display is a delight to everyone in the neighbourhood; a gift he gives us all at the darkest time of year.

About Beth Wishart MacKenzie

Beth Wishart MacKenzie

Beth is an educator and award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Edmonton.

She holds an MA in comparative literature and religious studies from the University of Alberta (2001) where she served as a lecturer in religious studies for more than 10 years.

Introduced to the art and craft of documentary filmmaking in 2006, she has since used the camera to continue her cultural-religious studies. As a socially engaged filmmaker, Beth seeks to use the creative medium of film to build community.

Beth’s documentary films include Unforgotten (2015); Brothers in the Buddha (2014) and Gently Whispering the Circle Back (2013) which is a companion piece to her film, Lana Gets Her Talk (2017).

Lana Gets Her Talk forms part of the cross-Canada touring art and film installation pîkiskwe-speak: An Invitation to Conversations in Reconciliation. pîkiskwe-speak “… is one 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program” and will tour Canada throughout 2018-2019.

Her most recent work is the short documentary From a Light Within (2018).

Beth is also the lead in the development of Edmonton’s Gotta Minute Film Festival, a festival of one-minute, silent short films co-produced by the Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA) and Pattison Onestop. Gotta Minute is a public art festival that reaches its audience on public transit, in public libraries and in other public spaces. Beth is dedicated to bringing media art to audiences young and old and from every walk of life.

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