Agnes Water film-maker documents illness over eight years
FOR THE past eight years Agnes Water resident Michael Houston has been fighting the rapid, hard hitting onset of a neurological condition and unintentionally caught his struggle on film.
"It's called Roads of Life and I never meant to make this film," he said.
"It was made on a zero dollar budget with a cheap camera which someone had given to me.
"I was taking footage of my son and my wife did some filming as well.
"All the footage she took of me I erased because I couldn't handle seeing myself disabled."
"But I had to face how I looked and sounded."
The film maker became his own subject in this confronting, graphic and rarely explored introspective journey of self discovery and awareness.
"It's not for the faint-hearted," Mr Houston said.
"Nothing's off limits.
"People will be challenged and haunted well after the curtain closes."
Mr Houston was a musician before his illness stopped him from playing.
"I look back on my history as a musician and song writer and now film making and see a psychological and analytical side to my music," he said.
"Always exploring and questioning not only my own journey and life experiences but how we interact with the surrounding world.
"I became some kind of film maker with no previous intention or qualifications.
"Basically, I was just this idiot guy who could barely hold a camera watching his children grow up."
Roads of Life is the first documentary of what will eventually become a trilogy.
"It moves and engrosses an audience in a pioneering direction for the duration of its running time," Mr Houston said.
"Ironically, in the early stages, it was a 12 hour film.
"Because of my illness time disappears, to me it felt like it was only one and a half hours long.
"I got offended when people asked for a break after six hours of watching it."
Mr Houston said the film pays tribute to the human condition.
"I feel an honour in being broken and transparent and being OK not to be OK," he said.
"How can you give up on what life is?
"It's who we go through life with that really matters.
"Life is beautiful under any circumstances."
Roads of Life will be screened in Shed 2 at Crow Street Creative, 8 Crow Street at 6pm November 9.
The documentary is open to all ages but parents should be advised that some of the content is confronting.
The film is set to a soundtrack also created by the documentary maker.
Mr Houston will deliver a talk after the film.
For more information visit the Crow Street Creative Facebook page.