Daniel Hardings latest short film Dinner with Mum is an interesting look at how somebody’s view of the world changes as their dementia takes over their view of themselves and their families.
From the moment Mum played by Meryl Griffiths opens the door to her daughter who has come round for lunch it all appears to be a perfectly normal family occasion up. However, as you watched the plot unfold in this very intense six-minute production you watch as Mum really struggles. The changes are gradual and the world seems to be happening to her rather than her being part of it
Harding once again proves to be very clever in understanding human beings and picking exactly the right actors to perform in his films.
This very emotionally fuelled short film during the questions and answers section of the the evening heard a couple of members of the audience admitting to actually being in tears as they watch the performance unfold in front of them and although I wasn’t in tears I was exceptionally moved by how intense Griffiths plays her role as Mum passion and realistic conviction.
The ageing process that takes place before your eyes and without realising until the end just how much older Mum has become was astounding. This whole process was created by makeup artist Brittany Jamison-Lackey. The results are absolutely incredible.
There were suggestions on the night from various audience members that this would be the perfect piece to actually use to raise awareness about how dementia affects the person who has the disease rather than the family around them which is usually the focus.
Actually looking at it through the eyes of the person was very clever and it was done extremely sensitively I always felt very empathic with Mum rather than feeling sorry for her and were in tune with what she was seeing. By the end where she sees her daughter as a totally different person highlighted just how far she had actually reached in losing a vital part of her memory bank.
I can now see why this short film was chosen for the film festival and why it’s been chosen in various other film festivals in the country it certainly deserves to be recognised. Huge congratulations to the cast and the director for dealing with such an emotional and difficult subject with sensitivity.