My name is Carol O Keeffe, I’m an independent documentary film maker. Making documentaries has been something I’ve been involved with since 1999. – Almost 15 years of madness, well to be exact – obsession. Anyway I can think of worse obsessions. At least with this one, it’s an opportunity to get people to look again – look again at situations that are taken as a given in society: Gender is fixed, Addiction is fixed, Identity is fixed, …Are they really? These are the kind of concepts I’ve been taking that second look at over the last few years.
Le Non Dit is my current Documentary Project.Le non Dit is a project that invites Mothers, siblings, adopted children and parents who adopt to voice the awkward and often complex experiences that often resonate in the psychological landscape of Adoption. I speak with people from ‘all sides’ and explore some pressing and often undisclosed subject matters. Le non Dit is a French phrase, it refers to the unsaid. I have interpreted it as the words one may choose to not say, though it would be cool to have permission to voice those very same words.The adoption quagmire is full of those unsaid words, those unvoiced sentiments, due perhaps to issues such as loyalty, displacement, denial and secrecy . At the minute, I have recorded some powerful interview Material and am Currently in the challenging Post Production stage.
The Pieces of Me is a documentary I completed in 2012. I have worked on it for the 4 years . It evolved from extensive video recordings that captured my search for my birth mother. From these fairly raw video diary pieces, a film has finally emerged. I began with a friend Ciara Hyland recording myself in my apartment documenting my reactions to the long and complex process that my search involved. Initially we didn’t know how it would unfold, if I’d find out anything at all, if I’d ever get to meet her, even if I’d find out who she was, her name , where she lived. It really began with a less than zero feeling, a kind of needle in a haystack vibe to say the least!
The Pieces of Me follows the A-Z journey of the literal trace. It also follows the psychological terrain I negotiated, the twists and turns of piecing together my identity and where a maze of complex pathways eventually brought me.
As much as anything else, the documentary became a theraputic tool for me, I think without it as a buffer zone between me and all the crazy feelings, my search would have been too real to manage at times.
It’s also quite a visual piece, sometimes lead by abstract imagery . Other times the narrative is lead by the nuts and bolts of my search and the hoops I needed to jump through in an Ireland still reeling from a culture of secrecy and fear, and the bureaucracy that often supports that dynamic, even to-day.
Other Films I have directed are as follows:
Inside Out – a documentary on Addiction.
Written on the Soul – a documentary on Gender Identity
Whats on my Radar? – an experimental documentary on an alienating urban landscape
Connect - an experimental documentary exploring the subtle threads of identity .