306 Hollywood is a dramatization/mixed genre documentary that forces you to embark on a journey through the experience of losing a love one and having to deal with the importance of keeping their memory alive. Siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarin deal with the loss their grandmother with a certain compassion through the art of the film medium. They take an abstract approach to a very heartfelt goodbye to their grandmother which hides the nightmare of the situation they’ve found themselves in.
It wasn’t until they had to pack up the house after the funeral of her death that the two realized they weren’t ready to let go of her just yet. It stopped them in their tracks and even made them postpone the selling of the house. They had 11 months to try to work through emotions as every object acted as a time machine sending them back to when she was still there and it was their job to do something about it. Thus, this is what ultimately brought them to make an archaeological excavation of her home and its contents, which in a way was her life.
Elan and Jonathan started with the making of what they called “Portraits”, which were made up of possessions of the people who once lived in the house. They made one for their late grandfather, uncle, and of course their grandmother. Through the process, they kept feeling the need to bring order to the chaos of what was their mother’s home and its contents and creating a catalog of it all seemed to be the answer. The physical evidence of the fallen helps us preserve the memory of the past and even although everyone has a story, we all have final chapters.
In 2001, the Bogarins held video interviews with their grandmother at 83 and continued for a decade, until 93. Collecting her answers was easy as she was being taped but the process of cataloging these tapes proved to be difficult as they found themselves coming to terms that the life captured onscreen was all that was left of her memory. A life reduced to data. Hours of her moving image and voice on a screen. A catalogue so extensive, assistance from an archivist was needed to help decide what was good enough to keep, leaving the viewer with the awareness that no matter how little or small something is, it is an arduous task to decide the things that effectively honor the person we once knew.
Elan and Jonathan express the love of their grandmother’s passions so beautifully and respectfully that it can make you connect to its importance quite quickly. We as a nation have understood loss in different ways and have levels of grief that vary. How important is it to document our family history? How do you preserve the life of a loved one through a few sentimental objects? How does this help keep the person we lost alive? These are questions that reach everyone at various stages of life. In this documentary, it will leave us with the hope that no matter what the answers to those questions are, the departed never really leave us. And as we keep going because life doesn’t have a pause button, we will always carry the memories of our lost ones.
———————————————————————ABOUT THE AUTHOR——————————————————–
Katherine Lockward, Editing Intern.