Halcyon is a story of a father who tries to teach his baby how to walk. The Father wants to teach her to walk on her own feet, but the Baby struggles without the help of her father. She learns that she must be able to let go and become independent as she grows.
There’s a man who spent his life, giving. What do you say to him when he’s going to die?
My father, Dr. Matthew Choi MD, was diagnosed with late third stage liver cancer, and his prognosis was estimated to be May 2021, by the time I graduate university with this film.
This film was is to honor my relationship with my father. This was my form of communicating to him, with all the words I was never able to convey. He gave us the world; many freedoms we could ever ask for. This man never stopped working, and never stopped worrying about others, especially myself, even in his sickly state.
On December 27, 2020, he passed away before he could see this film.
Halcyon is a film that grew alongside me in my journey of joy, grief, and mourning. This became a way for me to confront myself, to let go, and to understand that all painful experiences are an opportunity for us to learn and grow from them. Even in his passing, I desired to show him I can be independent and live on without my father present in my life. This film was designed to be able to show that we can grow and strengthen ourselves if we can overcome hardships.
I was warned many times that this film is a dangerous piece to approach, as I watched my father wither away, I would have to force myself to confront my emotions about my father’s condition. It was too optimistic to say he would live to see the final film, and it was too pessimistic to create this work on the basis that he is doomed to die regardless.
There were many moments I was able to use this work as a form of escape, all the technical and mechanical parts of the process allowed me to freeze my emotions, and there were also moments I couldn’t bear to look at this project. I would be reminded that we enter the world, needing the care of others, and we leave the world the same way.
The dullness, the smell, and fluctuating hot and cold sensations of the rooms he stayed in, will forever haunt me. I have accepted that I will never have Dad there for me to walk me down the aisle, my future children will never know their grandfather, and he will never be able to witness anymore milestones of my life. Though I can at least have this film to grasp onto, knowing I have to move on for myself. This film will mark the moments of joy and tragedy I experienced within this time, and those beautiful days I can’t return to. I’ll have to keep moving onto the future, and then maybe one day, I can comfortably say I’ve become strong from this moment.
- Directed and Produced by Mattea Choi
- Co-Produced with Harry Cho
- Sound and Music by Benjamin Paul de Caiman
- Family and Friends
- Jonathan Tran
- Rubén Möller
- Sebastien Bacchia
- ECU 3DAN Faculty