An uplifting story celebrating the resilience of the human spirit. This thought-provoking film takes us beyond grief, showing how love, generosity and humour can prevail, even in the bleakest of circumstances. Over three years we explore the complexity and reality for families surviving the loss of a baby.
Giving an unexpected voice to bereaved fathers, mothers, grandparents and siblings, this is a brave, inclusive and ultimately life-affirming film.
During the making of my previous short film Peekaboo, I had already built up close relationships with many families that had lost babies, so I had their trust from the beginning of this documentary and was able to gain remarkable access to their personal lives. I had become passionate about telling these parents’ stories over the past six years, as I had discovered how much of a taboo talking about stillbirth is and how this impedes the healing of the families involved. I had met courageous, humorous and generous people and desperately wanted to share their stories with others.
The challenge I faced was to engage audiences to watch a film about such a difficult subject matter and for this film to have further reach than those that have lost a baby themselves. In order to tackle this, I chose stories that offer hope, love, resilience and courage. Ultimately it’s a human story uncovering the incredible ability to triumph over adversity. The participants are very candid about their feelings, and although heartbreaking in places, we use humor to offer relief and create light and shade throughout the film.
We focus mainly on three families’ distinct and unique stories, supported by other families to punctuate and enhance the three main narratives. These are cleverly woven together into one story arc, telling a common story with different voices. This helps to illustrate the frequency of baby loss and how it affects so many more people than just the parents, including siblings, extended family and friends.
We look closely at the role of the fathers. Dads often feel marginalized when a baby dies, most of the focus being on the mother. In Still Loved the dads express their feelings about losing their baby and about the way our culture and society expects men to handle this, not really giving them a place or time to grieve. We are passionate about giving the fathers a voice in this film and they relish the opportunity to speak candidly about how they really feel adding an unexpected twist to the story.
Each of our storylines conclude with optimism and hope, finding resolutions to their grief in their own unique and varied ways, showing how although they will never forget their children, it is possible to move forward and find happiness again. This is not a film about death. It’s about life and the strength of the human spirit to continue.