Letter: Screening of 'Dad' drew strong reactions

To the Editor:

Gary David Goldberg's film "Dad" was the subject of an excellent article by Emily Gabert in the Banner ("Film Sparks Talk on Aging,") after the film was shown at Oldcastle Theatre recently. The Center for Communication in Medicine/SpeakSooner, organizer of the event, thanks the Banner and Ms Gabert for that article. Like the film, the article resonated strongly with many people.

"Dad" is the story of how a grown son comes to terms with his parents' aging and critical illnesses. It touched audience members because so many of us are dealing with or have dealt with the failing health or critical illnesses of parents and other loved ones.

Special guests spoke about the film and provided insights into director Gary David Goldberg's life and work. His brother, Stanley Goldberg, spoke warmly about what Gary stood for and how the subject of "Dad" was so important to him. Gary, who had a home in Arlington and loved Vermont, was an ardent supporter of SpeakSooner. He died of cancer in 2013.

Gary's daughter, Cailin Meehan Goldberg, also a resident of Vermont, spoke of her father's film "as a way of sifting through his complicated feelings about his mother's passing and how it changed his relationship with his father." Ms Goldberg also spoke about how SpeakSooner helped Gary when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, the tumor that took his life seven months later.

The Oldcastle Theatre was almost full, and the audience stayed around afterward to talk about how the film mirrored their own experiences of dealing with family illness, failing health, and the healthcare universe. Comments such as: "I have a better understanding now of what people go through when their parents are seriously ill," and "I want to make sure my family and I speak openly when illness hits us so we can make the right decisions and cut through the confusion and anxiety."

It takes many people to make a successful event. CCM/SpeakSooner would like to thank our sponsors and donors, especially the Oldcastle Theatre staff. Proceeds from the event will support new SpeakSooner community programs which will help our friends, neighbors, and communities be better prepared to communicate with healthcare providers. Visit www.SpeakSooner.org for news and updates.

The Organizing Committee for the screening was Bernard Bandman, Ceila Engel Bandman, Lindy Lynch, John Yost, and the undersigned.

For the Committee,

Michael A. Keane

North Bennington


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