The Story of Linda Bishop Coming to NHFF
Feature Documentary God Knows Where I Am to Make NH Debut Oct. 13
The New Hampshire Film Festival is excited to host the Granite State premiere of God Knows Where I Am — a documentary film shedding light on the mysterious death of Linda Bishop, a woman whose body was found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse and whose death was far more complex than initially believed.
The feature documentary, which is one of nearly 100 films accepted in to the 16th annual film festival, is the official opening night film on Thursday, Oct. 13 — also known as NH Night. The documentary will be shown at 8:05 p.m. at The Music Hall Loft.
God Knows Where I Am is the story of Linda Bishop, a well-educated New Hampshire mother who suffered from severe bipolar disorder with psychosis, who was intermittently incarcerated and homeless, inevitably being committed for three years to a state psychiatric facility. Successfully fighting her sister’s protective attempts to be named her legal guardian, Linda was able to refuse treatment and medication, and eventually procured an early, unconditional release, despite the lack of post release planning. Upon her release, she wandered ten miles down the road from the hospital, broke into an abandoned farmhouse and lived off of rainwater and apples picked from a nearby orchard for the next four months, through one of the coldest winters on record. Unable to leave the house, she became its prisoner, and remained there, a prisoner of her own mind, eventually starving to death. Her body was discovered several months later and with it a diary that Linda kept documenting her journey. The diary is poignant, beautiful, funny, spiritual, and deeply disturbing. It is one of the only known instances of someone documenting their own starvation.
“We’re excited to have this amazing documentary in this year’s festival,” said NHFF Executive Director Nicole Gregg. “The story of Linda Bishop has its roots in New Hampshire, but it also transcends well beyond our borders into a world where we are forced to question the systemic failure of society’s flawed mental health system.”
Directors Todd and Jedd Wider are expected to be on hand for the upcoming screening. Both say they are looking forward to sharing their project with festival-goers.
“My brother and I made God Knows Where I Am to bring back some dignity to a woman who died so tragically and in a way where much dignity was stripped away from her,” said Todd. “Linda Bishop fell through the ever-porous cracks of our desperately failing mental health system and social services safety net. The tragedy of her fate speaks to our society’s inability to truly help those that cannot help themselves.”
Jedd Wider said the goal of the documentary is to not only shine a light on the story that led to Linda Bishop’s tragic death, but also to give some credence to the challenges she faced as a person suffering from mental illness.
“Linda Bishop died alone, freezing, starving to death under a red blanket in an abandoned farmhouse,” said Jedd. “Is it OK that we forget people like this? That they remain nameless? We want her death to have some meaning.”
Visit www.godknowswhereIam.com to learn more about this documentary film. Contact Chuck McMahon at Chuck@vtldesign.com to schedule an interview with Todd and Jedd Wider or Linda Bishop’s sister, as well as other filmmakers attending this year’s film festival.
To learn more about this year’s festival schedule, as well as to purchase passes, visit www.nhfilmfestival.com.