“Memories of Tomorrow,“ a short film by Joslyn Rose Lyons starring Noah Griffin and featuring Ayanna Makalani encapsulates the heartbreaking moments between a father and daughter confronting the formers’ descent into dementia.
Arthur, the father, played by Griffin is clearly in his own world writing poetry, blissfully unaware of and unwilling to acknowledge his own diminished capacity , not remembering his wife’s death or his daughter’s weekly Sunday visit. Brought back to the reality of and the reason for her presence, he quickly retreats to the poem he’s been working on hoping it will ground him and focus his daughter, Melody played by Makalani, on his present reality. Undeterred in the purpose of her visit, Melody calmly and firmly, but not without emotion states her reasons as to why her father, now a widower, can no longer function on his own. Arthur, as if trying to persuade himself, feebly protests he’s: “Just fine”. Frightened, disoriented and not wanting to face what he has just heard, he rises from the dining room table where they are seated to call for his wife Regina to come downstairs to greet their daughter. She is not there. Melody gently leads him back to the table and to the present. The only music of Arthur’s life is poetry. He starts to read his verse to his daughter in a simultaneous effort to calm himself and comfort her but can’t get passed the title which is divulged for the first time. He repeats it twice as if to faintly acknowledge some illogic: “Memories of Tomorrow….Memories of Tomorrow.” Griffin and Makalani work well together in telling a story whose universal themes leave few families untouched. The emotions are real and convincing. The unspoken communication between the two beautifully captured, reminds us the ink isn’t dry on human speech. When important feelings are conveyed the words often get in the way. But here, in “Memories of Tomorrow”, the sparse but carefully scripted dialogue brings words and emotions together in a seamless weave of acting and cinematic artistry.