#SXSW: “YOUR FRIEND, MEMPHIS”
By Mr. Will Wong
Memphis is a young man living with Cerebral Palsy. He dreams of being an Actor after landing a few roles in smaller independent films. Senenca, his best friend, whom he has feelings for, worked on one of these films with him, is an aspiring Opera Singer. She realizes she must leave Texas to make her dreams come true. He struggles to get any government support from the state, while also at a crossroads in his life to pursue his dreams and leave Texas for the first time ever. David Zucker‘s debut Documentary YOUR FRIEND MEMPHIS explores life from our central subject’s eyes over a span of five years in his life.
The Film is an exploration of the struggles Memphis is dealing with in wanting to break-free as a young adult and be financially independent, followings his dreams and positive messages that we are inundated with in our day to day, which can contribute to our delusions. The reality however, is that the system is set-up so that someone disabled should be grouped together with others and collectively be placed on the fringes of society. And Memphis doesn’t want that.
We also meet Memphis‘ parents in the Documentary. His mother who left him at an young age, while battling with her own mental illness. She worries about him being able to take care of himself if he were to go out on his own, and she wants him to take-on a steady job so he can support himself, reminding him that his dreams aren’t going to pay his bills. His father has been there consistently throughout his life and loves him very much. When we see him deliver Memphis some reality checks, we see very quickly how uncomfortable things can get.
Zucker offers an insightful and empathetic look into the uphill battles Memphis faces and it isn’t tough being drawn-in by his optimism to life. When others around him doubt him, we believe in him still. That’s how intimate the Director allows us to get with his subject. It can be so heartbreaking seeing life deal its cards to him as he comes of age. And at once, he is making a compassionate statement about how we treat those with disabilities and the support they receive.
YOUR FRIEND, MEMPHIS screens at SXSW ’22 as follows:
Mar 11, 2022 7:15pm—8:48pm
Mar 12, 9:00am CST – Mar 14, 9:00am CDT9:00am—10:33am
Mar 13, 2022 11:30am—1:03pm
Mar 16, 2022 1:00pm—2:33pm