About the Filmmaker
Judith Morrow is a Registered Social Worker who grew up on a mixed family farm in the southwest Pembina Valley region of Manitoba, Canada, at the edge of the Turtle Mountains. Her background includes community development in Winnipeg’s inner city, social work in a variety of settings, teaching, direct therapy and coaching. Bridging clinical work with program development while at the Child Guidance Clinic, she traveled far to learn from a range of teachers – from Buddhist monks to clinicians in strategic and structural schools. Expanding her focus to documentary filmmaking resulted in “The Healing of Heather Garden” and her travels to share the story.
First Glance Los Angeles Won Best Documentary Short Award See interview with Nick Baisley.
What was your inspiration for making this film?
In visits back to the country, I met Heather Garden. Heather and her friend Kim were the most exciting and vibrant people I knew. Finding out what Heather had done to heal from her “incurable” illness seemed like a good project. I had no idea it would take ten years.
As I struggled through obstacles in the Learn-As-You-Go school of filmmaking, I kept thinking, ‘if Heather had done what she did, I could learn to make a documentary to tell her story”. One step at a time I entered two new worlds. Filmmakers committed to getting this project done appeared as I needed them.
At the same time I was unravelling the puzzle that seemed to contain a secret of life “What Heather had done to get well?”. I knew I could not tell her story without understanding this mystery. I began traveling to Heather’s guides in healing, experimenting on myself while reading and learning. Discoveries of the vast difference between drug-based treatment often used in medical practice and the knowledge of the healers shocked me. Gratitude in selection of this project kept me from turning back.
What was your favorite part of making this film?
The friendship that grew with Heather and Kim, the community of supportive filmmakers, and people who I meet through the film continue to be a favorite part of my life.
Where do the proceeds to your film go?
Directly toward paying back the costs of the film. I had to increase my mortgage.