“This story began with a wish to share the guidance of wise women and men who have deeply touched my life. In fact, in the case of Peggy Dylan: saved my life.
Early viewings with other filmmakers and industry professionals prompted an additional element. It was suggested that my personal story needed to be the skeleton that held the different parts together. This was not appealing to me. I am a private person and I can be rather shy outside my own immediate circle. The invitation to share my past and that that of my family was unsettling.
Delving into my past suffering, mistakes and nightmares was not a place I wanted to tread. I certainly was not looking for company. I felt extremely exposed and vulnerable.
The only factor that made this difficult journey appealing was the hope that it could help other people to transcend their suffering. It was excruciatingly uncomfortable to revisit my pre-near death experience and the horrors I witnessed growing up. I had worked so hard to put that life behind me.
Family illnesses that arrived during shooting also had to be included. I processed my hurt and loss through this film. Certain sequences still hit me with a sledgehammer and make my eyes fill with tears.
The truth of this film speaks for itself. Every contributor, and myself, had to go to that dark place that every human knows all too well. We don’t need any more documentaries about people who pretend on camera that their life is perfect. We are done with people who preach ideologies based on other peoples concepts of reality.
It’s a time for truth; failures, mistakes and all. People are sick to the stomach of bull-shitters. We crave honesty, vulnerability and people we can trust. The voices in Transcending the Storm are the real-deal and audiences will intuitively know that. To quote Sean Penn when I spoke to him at the Edinburgh Film Festival ‘People are smart and they know truth’.”
– Stephen Mulhearn