Film 'Murmur' explores a woman's connection with animals gone awry

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Image: Martha Cooley and Heather Young. Used with permission.

Our desire for connection, inclusion and relationship with others is strong. Who hasn't felt the sting of loneliness in one form or another? In a culture that seems to be so "connected," the sadness of being on our own does affect us all. Relationships matter more than we know.

The film Murmur follows Donna, a 60-something-year-old who is scheduled to perform community service in an animal rescue shelter following a charge of drunk driving. Over time Donna begins to relate to the abandoned animals that surround her and she forms a particular bond with a senior dog that she brings home to prevent from being euthanized. Donna begins collecting other animals from the shelter and buying them online, until her small apartment is over-run and her unchecked compulsion for connection ultimately causes her home and life to fall into further disarray. 

Face2Face host David Peck talks to Heather Young, creator of Murmur, about her new film, and about loneliness, solitude and quiet desperation, relationships and our desire for love, inclusion and connection with others.

"It is important to me to tell the stories of older women and allow them to be complex, flawed and fully realized characters, the likes of which are rarely depicted in cinema," says award-winning filmmaker Young. "Donna is a difficult character, but hopefully one that will resonate. Her loneliness and addictive nature cause her to act in ways that are at times counterintuitive and destructive but ultimately she is looking for connection -- and that is something that we can all relate to."

About the director:

Heather Young is a filmmaker originally from New Brunswick now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After graduating from the University of New Brunswick and NSCAD University she made several short films. Fish played at festivals all over the world including Palm Springs Shortfest, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Vienna Independent Shorts and TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Festival. Fish was also a Vimeo Staff Pick and won Best Short Film in the NSI Online Short Film Festival.

Her latest short Milk had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival where she also participated in the TIFF Talent Lab. She won Best Short Film (Canada) at Festival du nouveau cinema, and played TIFF Canada's Top Ten, Aspen Shortsfest, the Maryland Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, the London Short Film Festival, and many others. Murmur is her first feature.

Image: Martha Cooley and Heather Young. Used with permission.

F2F Music: David Peck and Face2Face. 

For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here. With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

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