Director: Emily Branham
| Producer: Emily Branham
| Produced In: 2010
| Story Teller's Country: United States
Synopsis: Although Greg Garing played with "the greats" in his 20's and had a critically acclaimed solo country music album in 1997, years of illness and misdiagnoses appear to have left him broke and in a fragile state. In this film, he is seen boxing up his own CDs in his musical instrument-filled Brooklyn apartment. A gaunt Garing, now 43, reminisces about his youthful and glorious days in a barely audible voice, punctuated by labored breathing.
This video, produced by Emily Branham for the International Documentary Challenge, gradually reveals that the source of Garing's health problems is not the typical ravages of a show business lifestyle that the viewer expects, but exposure to heavy metals and other toxins when he was growing up near the polluted Lake Erie. Tragically, he can't afford the cure, estimated to be $10,000.
Frequent close-ups of Garing's haunted-looking face and the moments recorded, such as watching him steam his cowboy hat over a pot on the stove, give this piece an intimate feel. The ambient lighting and rough texture of the video set a melancholy tone. Although Garing is so weak that he's falling down in his own kitchen, he somehow musters the strength to get himself and his guitar to a nightclub for a gig, where he transforms into another, an animated person on stage. "I am a fighter," he says about his illness; it's a winning charm.