My Daddy, Whistling Jim, 2013, 16mm/video, b/w & color, sound, 30m
What began as an investigation into my family's oral history became a portrait of my grandmother recalling her deceased father, known as Whistling Jim, near the end of her own life. Whistling Jim was an author, poet, baseball announcer and most famously a street performer who lived in Little Rock at the turn of the century. He died there in 1912, beaten to death in a mental hospital, but not before self-publishing a book detailing his experiences in the asylum. This film alternates between present and remembered tenses, with moments of recollection with my grandmother interspersed with images of Whistling Jim in the asylum, embodied and as imagined by me, his great-grandson. Additional photography (including above press still) by Lorenzo Gattorna.
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