Ghost to Ghost

It seems that Trasie's response to loss was to split in two: on Sundays, she stood in the cemetery and wept uncontrollably. The rest of the week, she was the purveyor of a caustic wit, and seemed to take genuine joy in relentlessly joking about death. These losses, and the ways in which Trasie did her best to cope with them, still trouble Trasie's daughter, Gladys, nearly a century later.

  • Andrew Gingerich
  • Gladys Nelson
    Key Cast
  • Andrew Gingerich
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 15, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    700 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 16mm, Super 8mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • WIFI Film Festival
    Topeka, Kansas
    United States
    April 22, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres MFA Screening
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    United States
    May 11, 2019
  • MoziMotion
    October 5, 2019
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Andrew Gingerich

Andrew Gingerich is a filmmaker who lives and works in the Midwest. His work explores notions of family, identity, and the boundaries of fiction. He is currently an MFA candidate in Film, Video, Animation and New Genres at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

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Director Statement

The only recording of my great-grandmother's voice is a five-minute long skit about coffins recorded sometime around 1940, only a few years after the deaths of her mother, father, brother, husband, and son. The recording is remarkably jubilant, and notable in its stubborn commitment to joking about death.

My grandmother Gladys recalls the deaths of her father and brother distorted by the perspective of childhood, and remembers her mother as a lonely, serious woman wracked by worry and grief.

This piece was my attempt to collaborate with these two women—one living, one dead—to provide context to this remarkable piece of audio and the grim humor at its source.