Kelly O'Brien

2012, 39:00 minutes, colour/B&W, English


In 2007 I gave birth to my second child. The pregnancy was easier than the first and the birth went relatively smoothly. A few hours after Teddy was born he showed signs of infection and we soon found out that he had contracted a virus in utero – one that seriously affected his central nervous system causing “extensive brain damage.” In the worst case, he would end up in a wheelchair, deaf, blind, and severely cognitively impaired. At best: he'd have fine motor problems and less dramatic “global delays.” However, the doctors said it was too early to predict anything. We would have to wait and see.

Softening is a diary film about this experience. It captures moments and reflections from our everyday lives over the past five years. It began as a film about Teddy, but became a film about my family and our evolving relationships with him.

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