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IFFBoston ’13 Review: Here One Day

Here One Day” is an intensely personal first-person documentary by Kathy Leichter that tells the story of Leichter and her family coming to terms with the suicide of her mother, Nina. The film focuses on the effects this tragedy had on Nina’s family and friends, and the things Leichter discovered about her mother in years that followed.

Leichter, who moved her family into the same New York apartment where her mother committed suicide, discovers a box of tape recordings Nina had made – a sort of audio memoir. It takes sixteen years for Leichter to build up the courage to listen to the tapes, and when she finally does, she finds that her mother had recorded about every aspect of her life, from her difficulties with her husband, New York State Senator Franz Leichter, to her struggles with her bipolar disorder.

The film assembles the story of Nina, Kathy Leichter, and her family through the audio recordings, family photographs, and video. It is a close, intimate portrayal of the entire family – in addition to interviews with her father and brother, Leichter also speaks to family friends about the life Nina lived.

While the first-person narrative works very well for this story, I do wish there was a bit more information about bipolar disorder and manic depression. However, I don’t believe education was Leichter’s goal for the film; rather, Leichter uses it as a way to come to terms with her mother’s suicide as well as to start a dialouge about and support a forum for mental illness and suicide. “Here One Day” helps shed light on the human faces behind the statistics, and provide awareness about these disorders.

To learn more about “Here One Day,” and to learn more about how you can help make a difference, check out http://hereonedayblog.com/.

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