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A Perfect Gift: A Filmmaker’s Confession

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Alice, Raque et moi. Hawley. MA. December 2019

In a few more days I’ll be sixty years old. Not bad, considering I was convinced my expiration date was set for a much earlier date when I was fifteen. Nonetheless, I made it to 1980 and started counting again.

In 2000 I visited my birthplace in Cordoba, a place nestled in the foothills of the sierras of South America. I went looking for the midwife who assisted in my deliverance. I was forty then, and she was as old as I’m about to be in a few days when I heard -first hand- about my early adventures. Before parting our ways, she hugged me the way only my mother knew how, as she whispered into my ear the following omen “I hereby grant you another forty years in good health and prosperity”. That was, indeed, a good birthday present.

The last twenty years (half the term of the amendment so far) have been a delightful journey with Soledad by my side, with our three children, with my parents in good health, a golden retriever that I miss every day, a cat named Kate; and a steady creative workflow. What more could I ask for? After all, in a few days, I’ll be sixty years old.

Hawley, Massachusetts by Eduardo Montes-Bradley

Back in October, I was approached to produce a film about Alice Parker, the renowned teacher, and composer, at the time, I was only fifty-nine and a half, a child. My first move was to travel to The Berkshires to meet Alice at home, a 17th-century cottage nestled in the foothills, covered in snow, and by the rapid stream, she calls the Singing Brook. What followed was an enlightening experience, six months working together, enjoying each other’s thoughts in a true intellectual game born out of mutual respect and commitment to the film. However, I believe I benefited the most from that relationship for I have learned from Alice Parker a lot more than she will ever know.

Alice: At Home with Alice Parker, a thirty + minute documentary film is now completed and ready to stream in public and academic libraries everywhere. And as I watch the film one last time, I can’t help thinking on that fifteen years old me with a cloud hanging over his head, of the midwife in Cordoba renewing our covenant, and of how good life has been to me for the last twenty years. But above all, I think this film, and the privileged of working next to Alice, was just the perfect birthday gift, one I shall never forget.

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