– a short-film adapted from the book Wonders In Dementialand.
Natalina Woods is a beautiful story about a Sundowning Gypsy named Natalina who visits a women Violet in the middle of the night. Violet has dementia. Natalina brings with her stories, music, bangles and a delight in the unknown. The Gypsy lady tells Violet to forget all this remembering. “The only thing worse and more painful than being a forgetter, is to be a much burdened rememberer.” Natalina reads Violet’s palm and tells her that she will be crossing the border soon. Meeting love from a younger man will come soon into your future. Violet eventually dances with the gypsy becomes friends with her dementias.
"It was a topsy-turvy place of secrets and discovery where I often found myself inside the mirror of dementia. Its reverse-ness showed me the other side of everything and the other side of myself. I learned to see my mother with eyes opend and not curtained my her motherhood."
My name is Suzka. I am an artist, a painter and author, obsessed with a story that needed to be written, so I wrote it. The story is about an artist who leaves her Bohemian life, living in a converted warehouse in California and moves to Chicago to take care of her church-going, game-show aficionado mother (Violet). Together they live in a place called Dementialand™. Identities are soon dismantled as both become part of an oddball cast one would expect to see in a Fellini or Harry Potter movie. The Wonders In Dementialand shows a kinder and reverse look at dementia.
BOOK-TO-MOVIE: The book Wonders In Dementialand was selected by the AFM (American Film Market) in Santa Monica for me to pitch at their book-to-movie forum. It was Dementialand’s first introduction to the film industry. It received an overwhelming response as well as a German producer who wanted to make it into a movie. The script’s first draft was written, a trailer was in the works… then came the pandemic, Covid and a return of my cancer. Everything was canceled. I was devastated but not broken. The AFM experience made me realize the enormity of the subject and how important it is to tell this story.
There is a place not mentioned in any travel magazines or listed in any search engine under top spot for summer travelers. But this growing world wide destination offers a compelling reason to visit. Maybe part of its fascination is their unfaithfulness to the status quo or possibly, it’s the Gypsy Sundowners who simply pop-in unannounced. For whatever reason, this destination has a lot to offer. Another wonder found in Dementialand - a vacation spot for Sundowners. Enjoy.
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