Must Read After My Death

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.

 

awards

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

 

festival screenings

2007

Mostra de Sao Paulo3  M

IDFA3 Amsterdam M

2008

Punto de Vista, Pamplona2  M

1st Special Mention, Jury

Singapore1

Visions du Reél1 Nyon

Hot Docs2 Toronto M

European Media Art Festival2

Documenta Madrid2

EDOC

Huesca de Cine1

Los Angeles Film Festival3 M

FIDMarseille

GRAND PRIX

International Competition 2008

Vancouver  2 hd Morgan Q&A

Docupolis1  Barcelona

UnderDox1 Munich

Ghent  3

Montreal New Cinema2 hd M

Ourense  2

Cork  1

Lausanne Underground2

Hamptons2 Morgan Q&A

Docslisboa3

Odiessea Award

for 1st Documentary

Chicago  2 hd Morgan Q&A

BFI’s London Film Fest3 hd

Viennale1 – Vienna

runner up for FIPRESCI prize

Jihlava1

Mar de Plata2  Buenos Aires

CPH:DOX3 copenhagen

Denver Film Festival  2

Filmer à tout prix  2 Brussels M

Opening Film

Festival dei Popoli  2 M

Audience Award

and

Jury Special Mention

Zinebi Bilbao

Stuttgarter Filmwinter1

DocPoint Helsinki

DocsBarcelona2 Morgan Q&A

2009

UCLA screening2/26

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

2012

Full Frameprogrammed by Ross McElwee

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival