An alcoholic with a martyr complex must stay sober for a weekend while going home (after over a year) to see his dying Uncle and religious Muslim family. But as he loses his grip on reality he struggles to grapple with not just deeper childhood traumas, but also new dark revelations of sexual abuse that will test him in this neo-noir tragedy.
Buried & Forgotten is my debut film. What ignited the inspiration for this story was wanting to explore the relationship between siblings who deal with trauma in polar opposite ways. The protagonist is consumed by his martyr complex and resentment and self-pity, while his sister finds the resiliency to forgive and move on. This story is set in a niche context of a Southasian family, and explores family and mental health dynamics within a MeToo story.
I wanted to examine the mind of someone who is unable to separate his deranged thoughts from his own sense of self. While seeking to purge himself of his demons, he commits the ultimate crime in the name of redemption. The character’s arc is a meditation on how when one is filled with self-hatred and is also incapable of finding solace and healing in their community, they can spiral down a dark rabbit hole.
Some of the challenges I experienced while making this film include: wearing multiple hats, having a very low budget as this was self-financed, losing a key crew member during production who caught Covid, and dealing with hurricane warnings and a severe weather storm during production, which forced us to consolidate two days of work into one day.
I was inspired by films such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Lost Weekend, The Joker, and A Place Beyond The Pines. This was my first collaboration with every cast and crew member. Their passion for this story and what it expresses resonated through the entire process. I’m very proud of the grounded and realistic performances in the film and the way in which we dealt with very heavy subject matter. I’m very excited to share it with the filmmaking community!