Today I had the privilege to screen On My Way Out to a professional women’s group in Beverly Hills. I can honestly say that while of course I love to show the film to packed audiences at big and small festivals alike, I really do love intimate screenings. It’s at these small interest group screenings where the lively discussions go down.
This particular screening was hosted in the backroom at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse on Canon, a pretty swanky joint. I expected following the screening there would be a brief smattering of questions regarding the extra marital affairs of the subjects, a topic that almost always comes up… but instead the opening question began with one of the co-organizers announcing that she was so upset by the film that she couldn’t touch the chopped chicken salad (with avocado and hearts of palm mind you). She had lost her appetite, she declared. For her, it was the question around permission. Had the subjects given their permission for their story to be shared so publicly? What about Ruth’s dementia?
Another woman declared that she felt there was no resolution. She was a therapist herself for 40 years and felt that nothing was resolved, after all the pain that was endured in the process of digging up the emotions. I asked her if her clients always found resolution in their lives, is life about resolution after all? Another woman was angered that the subjects, Nani and Popi, had decided to sacrifice their own happiness at the cost of keeping their family together. It just pissed her off outright that she exclaimed “bullshit.” Wow, this wasn’t the reaction I had anticipated from a group of well-healed women in their 60’s and 70’s… but I loved it. I loved the passion and vibrancy in the room. Yes, the majority of the women had positive comments and one woman told me in the end she felt the film was up-lifting. I love that. A celebration of life, be here now, grab it by the reins. That’s one of my takeaways at least.
Anyway, I’m so thrilled that people FEEL something from the film and it makes them think as well about their own lives. Shit, in part, making the film is what has drove me to pursue an MA in Counseling Psychology, so that I will eventually practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). I’m fascinated with partnership, marriage, family and the dynamics at play. I’m glad others could share in that.