God Knows Where I Am- PBS Documentary

Anybody watch? I’d recommend it. A well made, thought-provoking film.

Story of a woman and her battle with and eventual demise from mental illness. A hard watch at times, but very well made, interesting subject and lots of gorgeous B-Roll you would expect from a film like this. Catch it if you think you might be interested.

Details spoilered [spoiler]A woman’s corpse is found in a sealed, empty home. Nothing much but a few journals/notebooks. Investigators piece together her identity and details of her final few months through her own writings, and family and friends fill in the rest. Family home movies of her and her sister portray a normal family and stable life, up to and beyond a marriage and child.

Then things go off the rails and the film becomes a study of her losing battle with mental illness and eventual death. Pretty powerful film.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Hard for me, personally, because this could be my sister. She was always a little kooky, but about 5 years ago she had some major event that caused a huge rift between her and pretty much everybody in her life. Haven’t seen or spoken to her in years. My mom is pretty tore up about it. But the big take-away for me is, You can’t help someone who won’t let you help them.

:frowning: [/spoiler]


“You can’t help someone who won’t let you help them.”
Think long and hard before you decide that this is the situation you are in currently, because if mental illness is a major factor then it may very well be that it is the mental illness itself that is causing someone to refuse your help.

That’s the point, isn’t it? What are you going to do? Detain someone against their will? On who’s authority? Force what on them? For how long?

The point is to help them to the best of your ability…which might get uncomfortable. If possible, have that person committed(if possible), on your authority as a blood relative. Have your relative examined then(if possible) to determine what might be wrong and what might be done to alleviate the misery.
For what period of time? I don’t know-what is she worth to you?
If she was drunk and wanted to drive home and she refused your offer to drive her home, would you let her do it anyway, or would you take her keys from her because she wasn’t in her right mind?

You cannot force someone into getting psychiatric help if they don’t want to. You mayin some cases have them committed if they are a threat. What I understand is it’s not easy to do. Basically the person has to be a danger to the public before LE gets involved. And they have few resources for the mentally ill. If Gato says he can’t help I believe him. Taking the keys away from a drunk person is not the same thing at all.
ETA I will certainly watch the documentary.

She was instituionilized, and did her level best to deny treatment and convince a judge she didn’t belong in the hospital. What more can be done?

[spoiler]Lets get this discussion away from my sister, please.

She is just an example of “can’t help who doesn’t want to be helped” (and, really, none or our, including me, “business”) and not the focus of the film.[/spoiler]

This looks like a good program, albeit a very sad one. Got my Tivo set up to record it.

Thanks for recommending it.

Yes, thx.

What’s, ‘gorgeous B Roll’ mean?

Bedroll? Anyone?

Background footage. Filmmakers will often get footage of landscapes or cityscapes to put in between scenes.

I just came across it last night and started watching it. Very interesting.

Footage for cutaways. It doesn’t mean backgrounds, it’s material supplementary to A roll.

Background to the story not background to a shot.

So, in other words, stock footage?

Sometimes they use stock footage. Often they shoot their own. Basically any shots that don’t contain the actors is B-Roll. It’s used to give a sense of place or mood or simply as a transition between scenes.

I saw this movie a few years ago at a film festival and was just blown away. One of the most quietly powerful, moving - and even a little spooky - documentaries I’ve ever seen. I still think about it from time to time. The title is particularly apt - drawn from the unfortunate woman’s journal, and you realize it means different things depending on which word is emphasized.


Makes sense. I’d never seen it referred to that way before.

Thanks - I learned something today. :cool:

I knew there was a thread about it here, and it took a while, but I found it at last.

The whole film (1 hour 42 minutes) is on Netflix, and I watched the first 2/3 or thereabouts last night, and will finish later this evening. I’m not sure I want to see the Tivo’d version, because it probably had a lot of important material edited out.

So far, what a sad story.

She was not as isolated as was first implied, because there was an occupied house right across the road. However, her mental issues kept her trapped.

When I first read the description, I felt “meh” about it. But I got bored and decided to watch it. It was fascinating how poetic she was despite her mental issues and ever worsening malnutrition.

I also got the impression, reading between the lines, that her ex-husband was deceased, and turns out I was correct. I went to the findagrave.com website and found out that he died in a car accident a few months after her own tragic death. He had not remarried, but was engaged at the time.