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Icarus Film
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From the Fanlight Collection
How I Coped When Mommy Died
Directed by Brett Hardy Blake & Lori Hope
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This inspiring video was created by 13-year-old Brett Hardy Blake, after losing his mother to breast cancer when he was ten. With mature insight and engaging humor, Brett presents his story in a deeply moving but not maudlin way. Outstanding original music, animated video sequences, photographs and artwork illustrate the teenager's experiences, thoughts, and feelings, while his narrative takes the viewer on a personal journey through several years of his life.

Brett talks openly about his feelings, from his fears during his mother's illness (she was first diagnosed when he was only three) to his feeling of numbness after her death. But he notes that "This film is not just about my mother dying, it's about a life, a love, and just going on and being helped." Most of all, it's about how, with the right support, individuals can survive and grow through the most tragic of circumstances.

Co-produced with Brett's adoptive mother, Lori Hope, herself an Emmy-winning filmmaker, How I Coped When Mommy Died is important viewing for anyone who has had to deal with a loss, and for anyone caring for or supporting someone who is grieving a death, divorce or other personal tragedy. It will be especially valuable for older children and teens, but the filmmakers recommend that adults discuss the content with young people before watching.

"A truly magnificent, life-affirming accomplishment: personal, poignant, and comprehensive." —Rabbi Earl Grollman, author of Talking About Death

"Editor's Choice." —Booklist

"As a health care professional, I found this video to be an excellent resource. Brett's natural style in front of the camera and his ability to relate to the viewers is refreshing." —Journal of Palliative Medicine

"It is difficult to imagine a better, more helpful tool for a child who has suffered a terrible personal loss. Editor's Choice and highly recommended!" —Video Librarian

"This film is unique and necessary. Brett's powerful voice is going to be of incredible help" —Andrea Martin, The Breast Cancer Fund

"Highly Recommended for all libraries especially those with grief and loss collections." —MC Journal

Broadcast on public television
American Psychological Association
Western Psychological Association
National Social Science Association
Fledgling Film Festival
  

26 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2000
Copyright: 1999
Sale: $225

Study Guide Available in Adobe PDF Format

Subject areas:
Adolescence, Death and Dying, Family Relations, Fanlight Collection, Grief & Recovery, High School Use, Psychology, Psychiatry, Social Work

Related Titles:
The Pitch of Grief: Explores the process of grieving through interviews with four bereaved men and women, young and old.

Mortal Lessons: Two extraordinary women, diagnosed with end stage cancer, are facing death head on, determined to lead richer, more rewarding lives in the time that they have.

Facing Death: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's seminal book "On Death and Dying," brought her international fame. This intimate portrait was filmed in 2002, when she lived secluded in the desert, awaiting - as she says - her own death.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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