Writer/Director statement: "The script for this new narrative film (49:37) was written in a state of utter outrage and profound grief mid pandemic after 4 years of political hell. I wrote it based on emerging news reports about lock down conditions and the mounting death toll in nursing homes around the world, particularly in American facilities for veterans. As a professional musician, I love working with seniors and vets, and I could always tell the staffing conditions and morale of a place the minute I walked in. I am horrified by the fact our most vulnerable folks, and the workers who care for them, are systemically abandoned in our culture. The script was composed mostly in monologues to accommodate the crisis conditions, and I began opening it out as limited shooting circumstances and budget allowed, adapting it for film. With the help of special advisor Keena Keel, I was fortunate to find four amazingly gifted actors from Boston and New York, Sonya Joyner, Judith Nelson Dilday, Rydia Q. Vielehr and Robin Burdulis, who give life to these women's stories. I found a wonderful DP/editor, Jared Skolnick, and we began rehearsing by zoom in August, 2020. The film was fast shot in Western Massachusetts, safely in accordance with pandemic protocols, on a tiny budget over a period of 8 days, 2 days per actor, in Sept. 2020. I am so grateful to the cast for their great performances. I hope the personal stories in this modest little film inspire us as a society to better honor and support our fellow elders, vets, and health care workers, and fight for real change in our institutions. We must take better care of each other." Laura Wetzler, Writer, Director, Composer, Producer
Singer songwriter guitarist Laura Wetzler typically tours internationally in 75 to 100 concerts & lectures a year, performing original story songs, Worldbeat Jewish Music from Africa, Asia & Europe, and great hits of 20th Century American popular song. “Superb performances,” Robert Sherman NY Times. “Great Voice, Great Writing!” WBAI, New York. Laura has released six CDs of critically acclaimed original and traditional music (iTunes, cdbaby, laurawetzler.com) Her music can be heard in the film "State of the Art: Art of the State," screened at the Whitney Museum. She is a published poet & essayist, a member of Straw Dogs Writer’s Guild, and ASCAP. A native New Yorker now living in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, Laura has a degree in music from Hofstra University, and has studied theater at The HB Studio in NYC, and The Happier Valley Improv School. While still touring, composing, and recording, Laura had the privilege of volunteering under the direction of the Abayudaya Community of Uganda for 14 years, co-creating 25 different rural development projects. "What Happened at the Veterans Home?" is Laura's first film.