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Over five years in the making, Getting Over is the passion project of a lifetime from filmmaker Jason Charnick. Given a box of video tapes by his uncle that chronicled his father's final days, it took him well over a decade to even face the image of his father again. In 1997, Jason's father and lifelong heroin addict Ray Charnick recorded 17 hours of video interviews with his brother, noted New York City artist Arnie Charnick. The topics covered his entire life, from his childhood growing up in the Bronx, up until just a few months before his death. When Jason finally felt ready to watch these tapes, what he saw would redefine many of the childhood memories he held so dear. It would also take him on an unexpected emotional journey, not only back home to New York, but into the past as well. Come along with Jason as he gets to know his dad again, accepts the man he was, and confronts the addiction that took his life.
A Remarkable Film about a Man Learning about the Addicted Father He Never Knew
Getting Over was warmly received at its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. Jason Charnick has made a unique and deeply personal film telling the story of the father he barely knew. His father, Ray, was a lifelong heroin addict and thief who spent most of Jason's life in prison. In the weeks before his father died at age 47 of AIDS, Jason's uncle Arnie filmed 17 hours of interviews of Ray. After years of procrastinating, Jason finally watched the tapes and learned the story of the father he never knew. He has taken these tapes and turned them into a beautifully made personal story of his lost father's life. In the process, he seemed to liberate himself of many of his own demons and learns about aspects of his own life and childhood memories that were not how he had understood them.
Charnick offers us a journey inside the deeply flawed life of addict. His message is an important one today as he tries to humanize an addict's journey. He wants us all to see the human side of those who are lost in the bleak self-destructive world of addiction. Through his own family's story he also shines a light on the subject of intergenerational trauma. The film is powerful and beautifully edited as it takes us on a journey down the dark road of addiction and self-destruction. Highly recommended for those willing to travel to a very dark place.
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