For me, Susquehanna was the film I wanted to make ever since I realized I wanted to be a filmmaker. It’s sometimes very difficult sharing it with an audience because so much of my soul is laid bare on the screen for all to see; raw, unfliching, and not always pretty to look at.
Since we wrapped principal photography in August 2013, so much of my life has changed. Susquehanna, if anything else, perfectly captures that moment in time for me -- Jon YonKondy, the human being on his life journey. My brother, Jeremy, passed away a year after filming. If you know where you to look, you can see and hear him in the film. Like so much of the subject matter, he too is now a part of the past that this film commemorates.
Over the course of the two-thousand hours I’ve put into this movie, I've realized that Susquehanna really taught me how to be a filmmaker. The aesthetic I discovered has influenced everything I’ve done since. In short, this film gave me my voice.
My hope is that audiences find a fraction of the joy in viewing Susquehanna as I had in making it.
When I remember the moments that inspired the film, they don’t exist anymore as some slick HD image. They’re hazy and grainy. The highs clip. The darks are murky and don’t really reveal everything. They’re over-saturated, pastel-y, and infused with whatever emotion I associate with that memory.
In the film, Tommie lives in my parents’ house. His bedroom is my childhood bedroom. His bike is the exact one I received for my twelfth birthday. And one of the cameras we filmed on is the very same camera that captured my own childhood memories.
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