Documentary Film’s Interactive Site Increases Emotional Resonance
Dreams of a Life, a documentary about a woman who was discovered 3 years after she died, uses an sister website to connect audiences with the subject of the film.
In 2003 the body of the woman Joyce Vincent was discovered in her London flat three years after she had died. A woman with an apparently vibrant life full of family and friends was seemingly forgotten about as somehow nobody realized she had died. This is the subject of a new documentary film Dreams of a Life premiering in the UK on December 16th directed by Carol Morley. The film explores how something like this could have happened through dramatic recreations and comprehensive interviews with people who knew her when she was alive.
An interactive site Dreams of Your Life has been released in the run up to the release of the film that explores its themes in quite a personal manner. The documentary’s intent is to understand how someone seemingly vivacious could have been so alone. It is investigating an inner life of someone whose outward appearance betrayed who they really were. Through a series of questions on friendship, life and love it forces the user to empathize with this type of character by inhabiting their place. It creates an emotionally immersive experience wherein we become further enveloped in the film by reflecting back upon ourselves.
It is stylistically simple, but incredibly emotionally resonant. As the questions go on its backdrop of a flat’s window sill looking upon a tree outside the apartment slowly changes with time. A flower in the window fades and dies, a picture falls and the weather goes through several stages. The interactive site prepares us not to just observe the subject of the film but to truly understand her plight and why she may have been so alone to have died and been forgotten.