Synopses:

50 words A Viking funeral in New Orleans, a colonoscopy searching for cancer, a lonely campground that leads to the brink of consciousness; Unloosened and Root deftly exploits multiple film genres to tell a singular tale of mourning and loss. An intimate, elegiac motion picture that does nothing less than re-imagine death’s rituals for a new generation of the chronically mortal.

150 words An elegiac film that weaves two story lines, one fiction and one documentary, into a single narrative of loss and mourning. 'Unloosened and Root' exploits multiple film genres to unfetter meaning in the wake of empty death.

The documentary (shot during one of the last Mardi Gras before the destruction in New Orleans) follows a Viking Funeral given to a young mother who has died from cancer. Family and friends send a burning papier mâché boat down the Mississippi River during Mardi Gras. In the fictional narrative, JOE JOHNSON endures a colonoscopy then goes camping to reflect on the death of his recently deceased mother. Ultimately, it is shown that poignancy and poise trumps belief as the defining experience of a death well lived.

250 words An elegiac film that weaves two story lines, one fiction and one documentary, into a single narrative of loss and mourning. 'Unloosened and Root' exploits multiple film genres to unfetter meaning in the wake of empty death.

The documentary follows a 'Viking funeral' during Mardi Gras in New Orleans given to a young mother who has died from cancer. A papier mâché boat in the form a deer is built. The boat is carried by costumed family and friends through the rowdy streets of Mardi Gras. Their destination is the Mississippi River, where the boat is set on fire and pushed out to sea. Surprisingly, the deer-boat resists leaving; it floats back to shore as a parade arrives playing the spiritual 'A Closer Walk with You.' The fictional story begins with character JOE JOHNSON enduring a colonoscopy, after which he goes camping to reflect on the death of his recently deceased mother. While camping alone in the woods, strange encounters occur causing him to confront his fear of death. He discovers a headless deer by a path in the woods. Sympathetic to the animal’s mistreatment, Joe ritualistically buries the deer under rock. Later that night, he hears noises outside his tent. He gives chase through the woods and discovers that it is JAY, a girlfriend of his; she has been playing tricks on him. Jay proves to be emotionally complex; one morning she performs a miracle then leads Joe to the very brink of consciousness.

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brad
Brad Benischek as Brad Benischek





Tara Cullen as Jay