My Story is Not My Own by Steven McCabe

The most ambitious film by a poet for his own poem I’ve yet seen. It even has its own website; go there for the complete credits. Here’s McCabe’s description of the poem and the project:

At the moment of the fatal shots Jacqueline Kennedy was seen fleeing into prehistory, dancing ritualistically, time-traveling to the wild-west and documenting landscape. The film’s running time of 11:22 mirrors the date of the events precipitating the film’s thematic concerns.

‘My Story is Not My Own’ intertwines art forms; featuring four performers (including two dancers), narrators reciting poetry, one singer chanting Javanese-inspired incantations, electronic-ambient music and ‘found’ Super 8 footage from Kashmir in the 1960s.

The film blends scenes of journey, intimations of ritual, emotionality and American political history within an overarching sense of earth’s mystery. Personal and national grief juxtapose with archival footage of distant landscapes evoking a sense of loss.

Archetypal images of grief pervade the film’s imagery via the symbols of starfish, stones and veils. A mythological texture envelops the various manifestations of the ‘widow.’

Wearing her pink outfit, from that tragic day in 1963, she bursts through a saloon’s swinging wooden doors followed by the swelling ocean crashing wildly in faded footage. Linked to nature her story is truly not only her own.

‘One string snaps, this is the sound of what was new, and the oldest vibration of all, following its twin.’

‘My Story is Not My Own’ is a first film from a poet remembering the ‘feeling’ of November, 1963. Watching black & white TV with his mother nearby tending to small children. The film makes an unspoken connection between chemical attacks on the jungles of Vietnam which soon followed and the spirituality of disappeared Neolithic culture.

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