The matriarch of a rural Kentucky family takes issue with her daughter’s boyfriend at a gathering to view the total solar eclipse, forcing her to confront her own mysterious past.

Director’s Vision for ‘Great Light’

Though the events depicted in Great Light are fictional, it’s a deeply personal story to my mother and me about secret cycles of abuse, the sixth sense abuse victims might have for those also in distress and the rare moments of courage and conflict that bring that abuse to light. It centers on a character loosely based on my mother Kimberley Glass, played by her and was shot in our backyard in Kentucky during the 2017 total solar eclipse. With the exception of the two talented actors Jordan Gosnell (Cassie) and Nicholas Hulstine (Nathan), it features a supporting cast of my family and friends. In making the film, my mother and I were able to address her troubled past without explicitly recreating it and we hope we’ve made a piece ambiguous enough to encourage conversation, debate, and ultimately catharsis for both victims of abuse and those who have had the courage to speak up even when doing so was disruptive. In order to distance the film from the real life subject and source material, I’ve leaned into the cinematic conventions of melodrama, embracing heightened emotional performances, cosmic coincidence, subjective lensing, overt sound design and a sweeping score. I feel so honored to have been able to make this movie with my family and friends and hope my mother’s strength commands the attention it deserves when people watch it.