The Cancer Mirror (USA, 19 Min)
Directed by: Sophie Tuttleman
Written by: Sophie Tuttleman
From the intimate perspective of a young woman who has lost both of her parents to cancer, this 20-minute documentary film travels to California and New York to create a meditation on attitudes toward cancer, death, and the care we offer to the dying and the bereaved.
The Cancer Mirror is a personal documentary about supporting a terminally ill loved one, tracing the relationship of the filmmaker to terminal cancer in her mother Jan.
The Cancer Mirror weaves together footage of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center with interviews of Jan, Sophie, Craig (Jan's recent husband), and Emma (Sophie's sister). The film addresses the patient experience in various ways, including the perspective of Jan's Physician/Scientist, Dr. Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD Director of Neuro-oncology at Moores UCSD Cancer Center.
Through the arrangement of personal voice-over narration, archival pictures of Sophie and her mother, text from Sophie's mother's 'Brain Warrior Blog' that she maintained during her battle with brain cancer, and footage of Sophie reflecting on processing her grief from losing both of her parents to cancer, The Cancer Mirror will be a visible ethnographer personal-portrait documentary film.
Sophie is interested in what insight her own experience of her mother's death can provide for larger questions about death and dying. The Cancer Mirror will strike a balance between being grounded in personal experience and speaking to the issues of cancer and coping with death more broadly so that others can also relate.