Recovering Irma winds its way across geography and generations, memories and mysteries searching for answers to the difficult question: “How do you end domestic violence?”
Hi, I’m Sandra Salas the director of Recovering Irma.
This film explores the questions that arise when you grow up in a family with domestic violence. My nephew and I are searching for tools to break the cycle. We’re taking a road trip from San Francisco to my parent’s hometown of El Paso, Texas to discover how the cycle of domestic violence started in our family and also to understand why it continues to repeat itself.
Our hope is by sharing our story we can help raise awareness, build compassion, grow solidarity, encourage action, turn survivors into thrivers, and save lives. Help me end the cycle of domestic violence in families around the world.
Support a film that will be used as a teaching and awareness tool to end domestic violence.
ABOUT THE FILM
Sandra was 27 when her dad called to tell her he had shot her mom and was going to kill himself. This act shattered the myth that her family was perfect and living the American Dream. At her parents’ funeral, Sandra and her siblings vowed that the legacy of domestic violence handed down by their father would end with them. But today – confronted with her nephew Lorenzo’s arrest for domestic violence – Sandra knows that the cycle hasn’t been broken and she has to act.
BE THE BUFFALO
Sandra first heard this famous Cherokee life lesson from her oldest brother just a year before their mother’s murder. On a bicycle trip from Portland, Oregon to Washington, D.C., he told her to pay attention to the buffalo she would encounter along the route. “When there’s a storm, cows and other animals run away from it,” he said. “But, the buffalo charges directly toward the storm and gets through it quicker.”
Little did Sandra know that only one year later this life lesson would be so tragically significant to her life. After her mom was murdered, Sandra was overcome by grief and used dubious ways to deal with the pain, thinking she could outrun it. When Sandra finally hit rock bottom, she realized the importance of her family’s vow. She wants to help fulfill that vow and because of her nephew Lorenzo, she has to do it now. She also wants to create a new legacy for her mother, one that truly represents her mother’s life. Her mother wasn’t just a victim despite being victimized—she was more than that.
Sandra has to “be the buffalo” to fulfill these goals. She has to charge directly towards the family’s disease, in search of answers to the difficult question, “How do you end domestic violence?
DRIVING THROUGH THE EYE OF THE STORM
Using around-the-clock cinéma vérité recording, Recovering Irma tracks Sandra and her nephew Lorenzo as they embark on an emotional road trip from California, across Arizona and New Mexico, to her parents’ hometown of El Paso, Texas. Along the way, they will meet with extended family members, friends, experts, advocates, recovering batterers, and survivors in search of ways to end domestic violence.
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
This film is the first of its kind to tell a compelling story from both points of view – the survivor and the perpetrator. It has a broad reach, seeks to illuminate the social pressing issue of domestic violence, and is meant to spark revolutionary change.
Domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States and abroad, however, it is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. Globally, one in every three women, and nationally, one in nine men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
The good news is we’re in a global shift towards ending violence against women and ending the cycle of violence. Eve Ensler just got one billion women and men around the world to rise against violence women and to end the cycle of violence in general. Early this year the newly expanded Violence against Women Act was passed by congress.
My contribution to this movement is making this movie and I’m asking you to do your part. Help me raise the money I need to shoot and finish the film, so I can get it out to support groups, organizations, universities, schools, in the world.
CURRENT STATUS AND TIMELINE
The film is now in early production. I have set a goal to raise $50,000 through IndieGoGo, so I can shoot the road trip mid-July through August 2013. This is a fixed deadline.
WHY WE NEED HELP AND HOW IT WORKS
Funds from individual donors like you have assisted me with completing the research and development stage of this film, as well as supporting early production. I am expressly grateful because these funds have made it possible for me to get this far. The funds raised from this campaign will be used to pay for a crew, rent equipment, feed and house crew while on the road, and to pay for other necessary things that will help us get this film done.
A well-established post-production house has offered pro bono services to complete the post finishing work on my film which includes: motion graphics; titles; running the film through Smoke for color correction, etc.; and also preparing the deliverables to meet the requirements for screening at film festivals, and also for broadcast. This will save us time, money, and resources.
SHARE THE CAMPAIGN
All donations (small, medium, and large) will help us reach our goal. There are other ways you can help.
- Share the Recovering Irma IndieGoGo page on Facebook and Twitter
- Email the link to your community
- Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter
With your help, we can make a difference.
Thank you for being a part of this journey!
Much love and gratitude,