Experiencing Interruptions?

Holding Moses

A Broadway performer becomes a mother, braiding rhythm and grief and time and joy on her path to connect with her profoundly disabled son.

Randi is visually striking and presents as very masculine of center, which defies most people’s image of a mother. Her story blends parenting, family, queerness and disability; it is one rarely told in our culture. We made this project over the last year with an incredible team and generous feedback from parents of disabled children, the disabled adult community, queer families, and fellow filmmakers. With our screenings we seed conversations that explore letting go of the child a parent imagined they might have and help shift the shame narrative around the stunning challenges and surprising gifts that come with the birth of a disabled child.

  • Rivkah Beth Medow
    Ahead of the Curve, Sons of a Gun
  • Jen Rainin
    Ahead of the Curve, Homeroom
  • Jen Rainin
    Ahead of the Curve, Homeroom
  • Randi Rader
    Key Cast
  • Clare Major
    Belly of the Beast, We Are The Radical Monarchs, Ahead of the Curve
  • Greg O'Toole
    Miss Americana, After Tiller, The Two Escobars
  • Danielle Dupre
    Sound Design / Mix
    WandaVision, Pieces of a Woman, Loki
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    28,250 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • SFFILM Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    April 24, 2022
    World Premiere
    Winner - Golden Gate Award
  • RiverRun Festival
    United States
    April 25, 2022
    North Carolina Premiere
    Winner - Short Documentary Honorable Mention
  • Provincetown Film Festival
    United States
    June 17, 2022
    Winner - Best Short Documentary - Jury Award
  • Frameline46 Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    June 21, 2022
    Winner - Best Short Documentary - Jury Award
  • Outfest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    July 19, 2022
  • SF Jewish Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    July 27, 2022
    Winner - Best Short Documentary - Jury Award
  • Traverse City Film Festival
    Traverse City
    United States
    July 27, 2022
Distribution Information
  • The New Yorker
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Rivkah Beth Medow

Rivkah makes films, builds community, and raises daughters in Oakland, CA. She is a Sundance x WIF and Film Independent fellow whose credits include the short documentary HOLDING MOSES (Director: The New Yorker); and feature documentaries AHEAD OF THE CURVE (Co-Director/Producer: STARZ); HUMMINGBIRDS (Co-Producer: in post); JEANNETTE (Executive Producer: Festivals); and SONS OF A GUN (Director/Producer: PBS). She has directed and produced multi-part documentary projects for non-profits including The Pachamama Alliance and Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Rivkah believes in making projects inclusively and building Engagement Campaigns around these projects to amplify their work in the world. As a Board Director for The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, she's helped award over 10 million dollars to fiction films including MISS JUNETEENTH, SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, and FRUITVALE STATION. In 2021 she co-founded Frankly Speaking Films with Jen Rainin to tell mesmerizing stories about strong queer women and non-binary people.

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Director Statement

HOLDING MOSES is especially intimate for me. I’m in an open marriage with my incredible husband, Randi is my long-term girlfriend, and Moses is her son. In the throes of my own deep grief around becoming a caregiver, Randi and I recorded the story of how she reckoned with her feelings of grief around birthing Moses. I wanted to know everything about how she had moved through her grief around becoming both mother and caregiver; I thought it would hold a possible path to becoming the person I desperately wanted to be to meet my situation. We set up a mic just the two of us and Randi shared for three hours with a fierce honesty that became the audio track for Holding Moses. So the intimacy you’re hearing in Randi’s voice is that of a mother revealing her rawest self to me, the person she trusts most in the world.

My creative partner, Jen Rainin, and I brought the radio edit to our collaborators and started filming with our cinematographer Clare Major. We filmed across a year of changing seasons to evoke the passage of time essential to Randi's internal emotional experience. An unexpected hail storm swept through Marin in late January on my birthday, giving us the gift we needed to finish the film. Then my old friend Greg O’Toole edited during nights and weekends to put the film together. We held feedback screenings with parents of atypical kids, disabled adults, and LGBTQ+ families to help shape the final film.
Caregivers are a deeply invisible community and often feel that taking up space for themselves is selfish, inappropriate or unacceptable. I know this as a caregiver myself, from witnessing Randi, and from joining this community of millions. I’ve also learned that by naming our own truths fully we can help dispel the saint-or-shame narrative, interrogate our own ableism, and ultimately deepen our capacity to learn and love authentically. Feedback screenings of the film with a range of audiences show us how healing it is to share Randi’s parenting journey. I hold immense respect and gratitude to Randi for sharing this story and to our team for holding space for us to tell it together so we can join conversations that move each of us individually and as a group to greater clarity and positive action in our worlds.