UNIT collaborated with Sam Huntley on his recent feature film, Mary DeBoutez Zellmer Fenoglio.
We meet Mary in 2008. She is a loud, charismatic and complex woman in her sixties, born and raised in rural Kansas, USA. She has dreams of becoming an artist and one day leaving Kansas.
Living with her husband and surrounded by her herd of cats, Mary runs a vibrant roadside curiosity shop out of her front yard and builds giant eye-catching furniture. But rising gas prices have caused business to slump.
We encounter Mary’s friends, neighbours and close-knit family learn about events that have shaped her life; the poverty of her upbringing, the death of her baby son, a domineering ex-husband and the effects of an abusive father. Yet against these odds she remains positive, energetic and hopeful.
Ten years later, we return to find Mary struggling to come to terms with what’s happened in her life in the intervening years. Her beloved husband Kenny has died, as well as her brother and sister, and her business has all but ceased to exist. Just when she’s at her lowest ebb, she’s introduced to Rusty, a local contractor, and the possibility of a new relationship gives her a glimpse of happiness that she thought had gone forever.