'We console ourselves with memories, embracing what has gone before. We cling to the old, embellished stories. We fear, but do not mention, what is to come.'
Inspired by a piece in Guardian Australia from award-winning writer, Mark Brandi, ‘Goodnight, Papa’ is a universal story about family, love and the relationship between parent and child. Spanning several decades and exploring the diverse life and loves of Roberto - through vivid metaphor and powerful symbolism, the story bears witness to the intense grief of both his and his family’s loss.
Director, screenwriter and producer, David Williams came across an article written in October 2016 in Guardian Australia by award-winning writer, Mark Brandi, in which Mark reflects on his late father's diagnosis of dementia and the impact on him and Mark's family.
‘I remember how the doctor described the brain as like a hotel with many rooms, each with connected functions. In one room, the ability to problem-solve is kept. Adjoining this, our physical coordination. In another – surely the most untidy – our memories.
“As the dementia progresses,” she explained, “the light in each room is turned off”…Still, I sometimes imagine the brain as the doctor described it…and I see my father - strolling around that hotel late at night, visiting each room. He lingers in the doorways, savours the memory one last time, before turning out the lights.
And we, his family, wait in the last room. We sit under a fizzing, dying globe and reminisce about old, forgotten times. But all the while we listen, knowing one night we will hear footsteps in the hallway. And then a knock at the door…’
In 2017, at the very beginning of this film project journey, Dementia Australia made an incredibly generous one-off contribution.