Direct Route observes a blind woman navigating her domestic surroundings, presented alongside landscape images and the retelling of memories prior to losing her vision. Through conversations, and the solving of word puzzles with her daughter, a story emerges about the relationship between memory and the texture of experience.
Shot on location in Eugene, North Bend/Coos Bay, and many points between, memory based recollection provided the shot list for Direct Route in lieu of the visually motivated process of traditional location scouting. The use of tools for nonvisual navigation serve as counterpoint to the landscape images.
“Someone as wise as Dr Seuss once said that sometimes you will never know the value of something until it becomes a memory. An event-turned-nostalgia can conjure up the emotions, the feelings, the sounds, the smells, and especially the sights of a past occasion. Memories remind us of the people we love, the times shared with them and the happiness that lives on because of that moment. All our memories help us grow into the being we are to become. Memories are who we are. In her documentary film, Direct Route, Pam Minty explores the use of memory to rebuild the past of her now blind mother, Martha. Minty portrays the blindness cleverly, showing the audience how it is not a handicap to her mother, but rather an avenue she uses to make her life more fulfilling. Blindness is never a hindrance in this film, more likely it is an asset—Martha’s loss of sight helps her relive the memories in richer detail. Martha never once pauses in her nostalgia to remember a vision. Those sights remain clear in her mind.”
— Denise Papas Meechan, agnès films