A NEW DAWN HANDBOOK
A NEW DAWN HANDBOOK is an experimental narrative film in form of a theatrical release and a gallery installation. It follows Harmony, a young man who stumbles dangerously through early onset dementia, at New Dawn Independent Living facility. It’s an acute look at human fallibility and the malleability of narrative form.
Harmony Tulsa is a middle aged elementary school teacher who has slipped inexplicably into early onset dementia and his younger sister, Terri, is begrudgingly tasked with Harmony’s care. A scooter bound stroke victim, Marge Lugerpot, ingratiates herself with Harmony when he conspicuously takes residence at an assisted living facility for the elderly, called New Dawn.
The story turns sinister when Terri discovers that Marge is exploiting and abusing Harmony whose dementia has undone all of his defenses. It’s up to Terri to eliminate Marge, at any cost, so that her brother can eventually die in peace.
The film is structured around two realities. First, Harmony’s physical realm: the American South, during an excruciatingly hot summer. Second, Harmony’s neurologically garbled mind, which manifests as a series of parallel scenes that take place at incongruent locations in Turin, Italy. For every character in Harmony’s real world, there is an alter ego who surfaces in Turin. The lines between realms are severely blurred, both as a symptom of Harmony’s illness and as his strategy for surviving his own mania.
The film’s production will mirror Harmony’s derangement by adhering to a fluid rhythm of shooting and writing that unfolds organically; often spontaneously. The finished film will be presented as both as a theatrical release and as a gallery bound, video installation where the story bleeds off the screen, into physical space.
New Dawn underscores the sprawling devastation that is inherent to dementia while satirizing the white male’s rapidly weakening clutch on potency and sway.