Summer Reading is a documentary about two young women traveling across America receiving psychic readings in hopes of reconciling events in their pasts, better understanding the present, and thereby looking more insightfully to their respective futures.
100 Days of Optimism
Inclusion StatementWe feel that relationships between young women are underrepresented and often trivialized. We hope to demonstrate our own friendship, but also the generosity extended by the practitioners—largely women—with who we meet. We hope in part to use magic as a basis for surveying womanhood in America.
About The Project
Our trip begins in Manhattan, the city in which we met as well as where we have lived, worked, created, and studied for the last four years. From here, we will rent a car, starting south along the coast, moving southwest through Tennessee and subsequently Louisiana, turning northeastward to pass through the Rocky Mountains, and eventually Washington before moving southward once more to San Francisco where we will board a train back to New York.
Along this—much abbreviated—path, we will meet both with renowned and roadside psychics of all schools; tarotmancers, animal communicators, and clairvoyants to name a few. In New Orleans, Louisiana we will attend a seance with psychic medium, Sid Patrick. In Spokane, Washington we will meet a woman named Karen Andersen, who communicates with animals that have witnessed crimes in order to solve otherwise cold cases. Back home in Brooklyn, we will receive reiki healing while simultaneously being tattooed by Anka Lavriv. During Anka’s first reiki tattooing session, a man receiving a large, normally painful tattoo over his ribs fell asleep.
Shelby and I set about this journey knowing that it will be be riddled with pitfalls and fallacies. We—depending on the verity of the diviners with who we meet—will be made to recognize, if not reconcile, parts of ourselves and of our pasts that we might sooner choose to discount. These will be days and weeks of discomfort, spiritually as well as physically. During this time, we will cross paths with practitioners of magic and divination that are genuine, those who have deluded themselves as to thinking that they are genuine, and definitely those who are keen to make a buck, genuine or otherwise. Regardless of Shelby and I’s reception of these readings, it will be left, ultimately, for viewers to decide who is who.
On a global scale, we hope to uncover regionalisms in divination. How might a projection of one’s future—specifically that of a young woman, delivered in Knoxville, Tennessee differ from that received in Seattle, Washington? How might a love reading and forecast in New York City, where the average marriage age is among the highest in the country—30, differ from one given in Boise, Idaho where the average age of first marriage is the lowest—23? How will the diviner’s own understanding of what a young woman might want to hear regarding her future influence his or her reading. In other words, how might political regionalisms create disparities in our proposed paths as determined by the practitioners with who we meet? What will we be told? How will these projections differ? Where and how might they coincide? Which of these projections are correct? Does it even matter?
This film is intended in part as a platform for exploring fissures in the collective American psyche—through magic! Shelby and I have found that whomever we speak to regarding the film is interested—atheists; anarchists; catholics; staunch republicans; definitely wiccans; agnostics. Not only are they interested, but most have a story to share. Magic, whether a part of one’s own network of beliefs, reviled, or rendered unthreatening by disbelief, is a subject of intrigue, and thereby a commonality on which to base a surveying both of our country and of the futures of two young women upon an unsure, tectonically shifting political landscape in America in 2018.
Sponsored by the Center for Independent Documentary and supported by our family, friends and enthusiastic followers, Summer Reading is a passion project for us and we’re excited and hopeful to be granted an opportunity to share this adventure with the world, and are so humbled by the passion and interest of those who already stand beside us.
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About This Team
Check out our website: www.jujufilmsnyc.com for more information about who we are and what we do!