From director Ian Gamester:
I was commissioned by the West Lancashire Women's Refuge to work with them in producing a series of 21 videos to mark their 21st anniversary. Over six months I worked with the women of the refuge, issuing them with video cameras and encouraging them to share their experiences. Each week we would meet as a group and watch the footage they had recorded. Obviously this at times was an emotional and traumatic experience, for all concerned. But as a group we supported each other and ultimately it was a rewarding and cathartic experience, which enabled the women to deal with these painful experiences in a supportive and nurturing environment. At the end of the 6 months the women told me they found the experience of videoing very liberating, in the sense that they spoke to the camera on their own terms, in their own time, on their own. Usually they only speak of their experiences to support workers and therapists, but they found it was much easier to open up to the camera. The footage shot by the women is shocking, traumatic, moving but ultimately uplifting and inspirational. I am currently shaping it into a longer documentary.
"A Mother's Story" tells how the extended family is affected by domestic violence. I shot these interviews to be interspersed between the footage that the women had produced, breaking up the piece into 21 chapters. The completed work was shown for local authorities, health professionals, government officials and emergency services to help them understand the issues better.
Unfortunately I can't share any of the footage that the women have shot as it highly personal and obviously they have expressed concern about it appearing online. But this clip gives an idea of the pain and suffering caused by violence in the home.
Shot with a Canon 5D MKII, Nikon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 28mm 1.8