Preface: I emailed Sasha Levinson, writer and director of the documentary “Sylvie of the Sunshine State” and guess what? She offered to talk with me! What a beautiful spirit the woman has! We talked for almost twenty minutes about parenting and the directors who influence(d) her most. So just like Sasha’s risking vulnerability to place her and her daughter’s experience story in the public eye paid off, so did my risking rejection for a conversation. May more positive human interactions like this come our collective way.
Review: Teaching the Flamboyant Florida Film Class through Osher Life Long Learning has been a blast. This week my movie assignment was an instinctual roll of the dice on a 2022 documentary called “Sylvie of the Sunshine State”. The result was a moving documentary experience.
Sasha Levinson, the director, writer and ‘co-star’ of the film was inspired to use her Iphone when Covid shut every other project she had in the works. Isolated with her then 10 year old daughter Sylvia in a Ft. Lauderdale suburb, Levinson chose to film their Covid experience. The outcome was a profound mixture of nature, technology bombardment and family stress that began with the realization of Zoom school problems (how to monitor your child while also giving them autonomy), medical popup dilemmas (when a co-parent flown in couldn’t even see his own daughter due to Covid quarantine protocols) and maintaining friendships and family relationships with the 6 feet distance rule.
My favorite scenes were ones I related to as a parent, the angst of preferring to feel pain rather than see your child experience any and the innocent loving spirit of children. Sylvie’s caring about her fish, a bird pushed from its nest and the budding self-consciousness she had churning within her reminded me that ‘the children are our future’ #songwriter Michael Masser and lyricist Linda Creed. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for Sasha’s next endeavors including a spy thriller based on a true story with the working title Havana Surf.