What is Lasagna all about?
Lasagna is a short movie that tells the story of Chess, a young, poor woman who provides care to Leonor, who is living with Alzheimer’s. Throughout the movie, the audience is challenged with ethical dilemmas and themes that cause Chess to question the meaning of caring for someone.
Why did you decide to grapple with dementia in your work?
Dementia always seemed to be one of the scariest ways to grow older. Usually, a helpful coping mechanism for scary topics is making a film about it. The process allows the creator to truly understand what dementia entails, for those suffering from dementia themselves as well as their close ones. For this movie, I talked to several people who are living with dementia as well as those who have parents living with dementia. All of their experiences were used to write a script about an elderly woman suffering from dementia.
How has working on dementia-related art affected you?
By making a film about this topic, you automatically put yourself in someone else’s shoes. While I try to do this for all my films, specifically Lasagna made me realize how incredibly hard it is to make a representative story. I have also become more aware that whichever story I tell, it is not just my story; there are always people who may have similar experiences. Through the creation process, I became more aware of the important role and responsibility a filmmaker can have to make sure people feel represented and accurately portrayed in films.
How has Lasagna been received?
I have heard from many audiences that they recognized elements of this story from their own experience, such as the lack of trust and the suffering when someone doesn’t fully know what is going on. Coincidentally, the homeowner of our film location mentioned that she experienced exactly what happens in the short film when her mom was living with dementia.
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