Shooting with real film helps this photographer cope with his brutal childhood

The documentary is part of the 'KC Loves' series produced by Barkley

Published On
Sep 12, 2018

Editor's Pick

Travis Young deals with the trauma of a brutal childhood through the patient, unpredictable lens of a film camera. Three years after his second suicide attempt, he tells his story in a short documentary film timed for National Suicide Prevention Month, directed Josh Dubois, a director and editor at Kansas City-based Barkley.

In “Waste of Film,” Young recounts the damage inflicted on his family by his alcoholic, abusive father. Even after his father left, he suffered sexual abuse for years at the hands of the babysitter entrusted to care for him while his mother worked to support the family. The only way to cope was to cut himself off from his emotions.

But buried feelings can’t stay hidden forever. His first suicide attempt came at 16, and the next at 25, after he had already found a long-term relationship and a good job as a commercial photographer.

After his second attempt at his life, traditional photography--using real film--helped Young in his healing process. He chose to switch from digital to film because the lack of immediate results better reflected the way he was beginning to process his own feelings. The documentary ends with the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The film is part of "KC Loves," a film series spearheaded by Dubois and produced by Barkley that celebrates creativity and the community that practices it in Kansas City.


Sep 12, 2018

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