In Night Ride – part of the Loading Docs 2021 collection – filmmaker Todd Karehana attempts to get to the bottom of his mum’s unusual nightly routine.
“Mum. Seven years ago you moved out of our childhood home. Shortly after, you told me you were feeding stray cats. It seemed normal, until you told me the cats lived in front of our old house. I’m worried about you.”
Todd Karehana is sitting in the car with his mum Alma. It’s dark outside. They’re parked in front of the house he and his siblings grew up in. “It’s funny because I brought up 10 children for many, many years,” Alma says. “[This isn’t] half as rough as bringing all you kids up.”
She’s talking about her evening routine: every night she gets in the car and drives across town to feed the stray cats that live near their old house. The house she moved out of seven years ago. “You gotta be regular. You gotta be constant. Otherwise they’ll starve.”
She started this routine while still living there, and says when she moved out the SPCA came and trapped them. “I thought they’d try and rehome them [but] found out that they put them down.” She is particularly fond of one of the cats, who she’s named Fluff. “I’m gonna try and rehome Fluff,” she tells Todd back at home. “I’ve saved up money for the vet.”
Todd wants to help. He also thinks there might be something else, something bigger behind the routine his mum is so attached to. But any time these questions arise, Alma manages to sidestep them. “Mums are allowed to be weird sometimes,” she argues.
But sitting in the car, waiting for the cats, Todd gradually picks up on clues that offer a glimpse into the full story. In this heartfelt short film, we see him start putting the pieces together.
Night Ride is part of the Loading Docs 2021 collection. For more visit loadingdocs.net
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