a film about Allis. watch it below
made Roger Ebert’s top 10 documentaries of 2009 – “I’ve never seen anything like it.” – Roger Ebert
Filmmaker Morgan Dews was close to his grandmother Allis, but it wasn’t until after her death in 2001 that he became aware of an astounding archive she’d amassed throughout the 1960s. Filled with startlingly intimate and candid audio recordings detailing her family’s increasingly turbulent lives, the collection also contained hundreds of silent home movies, photographs and written journals. Using only these found materials, Dews has fashioned a searing family portrait that affords fly-on-the-wall access to one family’s struggles amid an America on the verge of dramatic transformation.
Must Read After My Deathfollows Allis, her husband Charley, and their four children in Hartford, Connecticut. Charley’s work takes him to Australia four months out of the year, so the couple purchases Dictaphone recorders to stay in touch throughout his extended absences. Allis, a modern woman at least a decade ahead of her time, struggles against conformity – against the conventional roles of wife and mother. She finds the recordings cathartic and with the family’s cooperation, incorporates them into their everyday existence. When the family turns to psychologists and psychiatrists, their strife increases and the recordings turn progressively darker – even desperate. All the while, Dews employs the family’s many home movies and the seemingly placid, typically American façade that they convey, as visual counterpoint to the raw and sobering tape recordings.
Composer and recording artist Paul Damian Hogan of Franceshas created a lush and engrossing score. Renowned Design Director, Lisa Kwon, fashioned stellar graphics and animated sequences for the film. Alison Bourke of This Film is Not Yet Rated andZ Channel: A Magnificent Obsession brought her Executive Producer powers. Brett Graves mixed the sound at Creative Bubble. Mark Lipsky and Brain and Brook Devine of Gigantic Film brought the film forward to the public.
Written, produced, directed, and edited by Morgan Dews.
Mostly hidden away in his New York apartment, armed with his hard-drives, Morgan emerged when Must Read After My Deathbegan to look better than terrible. Soliciting help from his friends MRAMD came into its own.
It had an amazing theatrical release thanks to all the hands that helped.
International Grand Prix at FID Marseille
Golden Magnolia at Shanghai TV fest
Best 1st Doc at DocLisboa
Gala opening film at FATP Brussels
Audience Award in Florence
Special Mention in Pamplona
Special Mention in Florence
shortlisted for Independent Spirit Award, “Truer Than Fiction”
runner up for FIPRESCI critics prize at Viennale
theatrical release 2009
New York City Quad Cinema, Feb. 19-26
Los Angeles Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Feb. 27- Mar. 5
IDFA3 Amsterdam M
1st Special Mention, Jury
Visions du Reél1 Nyon
Hot Docs2 Toronto M
International Competition 2008
Vancouver 2 hd Morgan Q&A
Montreal New Cinema2 hd M
Hamptons2 Morgan Q&A
for 1st Documentary
Chicago 2 hd Morgan Q&A
Viennale1 – Vienna
runner up for FIPRESCI prize
Mar de Plata2 Buenos Aires
Filmer à tout prix 2 Brussels M
Jury Special Mention
DocsBarcelona2 Morgan Q&A
Stranger Than Fiction2/3/09 Morgan Q&A
Punta de Vista– Again! ’09
ZagrebDox2/23 – 3/1
USA Film FestivalMorgan Q&A
Mar de PlataTravelling Exposition
TransilvaniaIFF 5/29 – 7/6
Shanghai TV Festival6/8 – 6/12 Morgan Q&A
Golden Magnolia Prize
Era New Horizons(Wroclaw) – 7/23 – 8/ Morgan Q&A
Sichuan TV Festival(Chengdu)11/6-11/8M
Full Frameprogrammed by Ross McElwee
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival