BUOYANCY: A Film Screening and Book Reading

A film by Will Hommeyer featuring Writer/Poets Jeannie Piekos & J. Otis Powell
Memoir by Jeannie Piekos
Music by Cecil Otter of Doomtree

Thursday, May 16, 2019
7:00 pm / Doors open at 6:00pm

Tickets: $12/$10 in advance

Buoyancy is more than a film about cancer, courage, and chemotherapy. It’s an intimate portrait of a woman who becomes stricken with a rare diagnosis. Juggling life and death, she finds a path to authenticity as surgery, chemo, and radiation strip away the unessential.

The title of the film was inspired by a poem that Jeannie wrote while sick from chemotherapy. Her poem was inspired, in part, by a line from a poem by Rumi.

Feel the motions of tenderness around you, the buoyancy.” ~Rumi

Jeannie is a writer and poet. Sharing her personal life is part of her work as a poet. My vision for Buoyancy was to go behind the veil to share one woman’s very personal, innermost journey exploring life, sexuality, disease, motherhood and mortality. The film draws on universal themes of fear, loss and love within Jeannie's experience and allows the audience to see themselves in her place; to walk beside her on her journey.

Project Background:
When my dear friend and longtime colleague Jeannie Piekos called me to let me know that she had just received a devastating cancer diagnosis, my heart sunk. I had to do something to record this amazing woman for her kids, for her grandchildren, for her husband, and for me, too. My immediate instinct was to document her journey. I wanted to use my camera to tap her words and witness her passage as she stumbled down the rabbit hole of cancer treatment with all the uncertainty that would be conjured up.

Looking back on it now, I believe my initial response was probably some kind of primal attempt to hold on to my friend that could otherwise slip from my grasp. I was thrilled when Jeannie called to let me know that she wanted to commence on the film project.

At first, the process provided a conduit for Jeannie to tell her story. At some point, it became a kind of therapy that she needed. The film became a forum for Jeannie to create a solid narrative frame around the chaos that cancer had brought to her life. And finally, it became a way for both of us to come face-to-face with our own mortality and realize what is truly essential in this ephemeral thing we call life.

Our bodies are mapping, a future unknown to us.” ~Jeannie Piekos

In addition to the film, Jeannie has just published a memoir of her essays and poems. She will read selected works from the book Buoyancy and sign copies after the screening.

Funded in part by the Minnesota State Arts Board and Legacy Amendment.

Buoyancy website: https://buoyancymovie.com
Buoyancy Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/buoyancyfilm/
Jeannie’s website: http://www.jeanniepiekos.com

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