Moment of Impact
Julia Loktev, Melanie Judd
On April Fool's Day in 1989, the filmmaker's father, a Russian emigre, was struck by a car as he ambled between garage sales in the suburbs of Loveland, Colorado. Catapulted into a near-comatose state, he became irrevocably suspended between life and death, an infantilized shell of his former vibrant and independent self.
Part personal odyssey, part expressionistic homage, Moment of Impact is a first-person documentary of peerless craft and emotional force. Wrought with loving detail and vital purpose, the film painstakingly etches the accident's repercussions: the day-to-day travails of home care and the acute individual burdens borne by family members. The accident not only ended Loktev's father's career as a programming analyst but also that of his wife, Larissa, who became his primary caregiver.
With her agile manipulation of the camera, the filmmaker steals inside her father's isolation, pleading for signs of a higher consciousness. Under the weight of playing nursemaid to her husband and psychological case study to her daughter, Larissa erupts. However, with an elastic spirit she manages to maintain her sanity and sense of humor, defiantly grasping opportunities for self-gratification. In the film's moving conclusion, Larissa implores her daughter to do what her own circumstances have precluded: realize the fullness of her life rather than martyr herself for another's half-life.
Poetic, honest, and unapologetically intense, Moment of Impact depicts one family's dignified resilience in face of their unyielding tragedy.