"In a film that deals with deeply personal issues, Christine Vartoughian beautifully straddles the complexities of the modern indie filmmaker.
A terrific first feature."
-Michael Nolin, producer Mr. Holland's Opus
Living with the Dead:
A Love Story
a film by Christine Vartoughian
"A moving exploration of teenage suicide and depression.
Emily Jackson is absolutely wonderful as Max. Vartoughian is spot-on."
-Patrick King, Cultured Vultures
Max McLean is eighteen years old and can't get out of bed. Since her boyfriend Adam killed himself over a year ago, Max has been using sex, drugs, and alcohol to ignore the pain until one day she wakes up in a hospital, haven taken a nearly lethal dose of sleeping pills. While being haunted by visions of Adam, Max runs away from home and ventures into the forest with a bizarre but curious boy named Ish and tries to answer the questions about her past while figuring out what to do with her future.
This is a deeply personal film. After a sudden and surprising loss of someone I loved I struggled with the ensuing depression that led me on a path filled with prescription drugs, psychiatric care, and a plague of hopelessness. The story is about a girl whose life is derailed when her boyfriend commits suicide. She runs away from home and in her quest to rediscover herself, ends up discovering another runaway with a dark past but magical spirit. Together they fill their world with forest adventures, midnight libraries, Shakespeare, dreams, and Polaroid pictures. I hope this film speaks to young people who are searching for themselves and lets them know they are not alone and that what is lost can again be found.
- Christine Vartoughian