Heather

Not every journey into domestic abuse is the same. Through an intimate and personal account, Nicole Sharpe reflects on a moment in November 1991 that changed her world forever.

Created by Lonelyleap in partnership with the NY Department of Health’s NYC Women’s Advisory Board, Heather is an intimately told story by Nicole Sharpe, a woman whose world was changed by a domestic homicide. Through the rediscovery of old family photos and a recreation of her childhood home in Brooklyn, New York, Heather guides viewers through Nicole’s past as she revisits memories of her formative years leading to the incident on November 22, 1991.

Director’s Statement

Every month, an average of 52 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. The ripple effects of firearms in the hands of an abuser extend far beyond the intimate relationship, affecting children who witness or live through it.

Our mission at Lonelyleap is tied to a quest for authenticity in the stories we discover and the stories we tell. In creating Heather, we were keen to explore the many different definitions of domestic violence through an intimate and courageous account of a person directly impacted.

In the interview with our subject, Nicole Sharpe, we heard personal memories of a tumultuous childhood as she observed countless scenes of violence by her father to her mother, along with the paradoxical relationship she and her siblings had with a man who was a provider and caregiver.

To help us engage the viewer’s imagination and curiosity through the world Nicole inhabited, we recreated the Brooklyn home Nicole grew up in and framed archival photos of her mother within spaces of the house.

A key goal was to show that it’s not only women of a certain demographic that are subject to abuse but shed light on a bigger theme of the silent epidemic of domestic abuse. Simple, slow- motion moments were used to allow for a focus on important soundbites in the film, which we hope will resonate long after the film has ended.