Jedd and Todd Wider have been making films together for 17 years.
With their latest documentary, “God Knows Where I Am,” the brothers are tackling a serious issue – mental health.
The film is slated to open May 12 at High Ridge in Albuquerque.
“We were looking for a topic, and Todd had an incident with a homeless person who broke into his place in New York City,” Jedd Wider says. “Because it was winter, the person was looking for warmth and didn’t want to steal anything.”
Then the pair read an article in The New Yorker about Linda Bishop, who was found dead in a New Hampshire farmhouse in 2008.
“God Knows Where I Am” tells Bishop’s story, through the words left in a diary that documents a journey of starvation and the loss of sanity, but told with poignance, beauty, humor and spirituality.
For nearly four months, Bishop, a prisoner of her own mind, survived on apples and rainwater, waiting for God to save her, during one of the coldest winters on record.
As her story unfolds from different perspectives, including her own, the audience learns about the nation’s systemic failure to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
“We reached out to Linda’s sister and daughter, and the more time we spent with Linda’s journals, the more we really wanted to make it from Linda’s perspective,” Todd Wider says. “The response has been very positive, and I think it’s an important film. It puts you in the mind of someone who is quite ill, and it brings empathy.”
The filmmakers worked on the documentary for four years, and it took two years to edit.
The documentary has been in upwards of 20 film festivals and is now screening across the world.
Jedd Wider says we often turn our heads when we see homeless people.
“These brothers and sisters and these mothers and fathers, they have hopes,” Jedd Wider says. “We need to do better as a society, and we wanted to do a film on the homeless and mentally ill.”
In fact, the documentary was screened for Congress with the help of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
“The film is embraced by many psychiatrists,” Jedd Wider says. “We’re working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness on some more projects.”
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