Caris' Peace

A powerful documentary about a brilliant actress who triumphed over the loss of her short-term memory.

Like many people with TBI, actress Caris Corfman — who after the removal of a brain tumor — lost her short-term memory. Caris was once an actress whose talent presumed a lifetime career, whether starring opposite Ian Holm in the dramatic film Dreamland or in the original Broadway cast of Amadeus with Ian McKellen and Tim Curry. Now she can't remember a line of dialogue, a stage direction, or an entrance or exit cue — the very foundation of her profession. The simplest dance step or lyric of a song eludes her, though she trained in dance and music since childhood. Caris' Peace is the story of Caris' resolute effort to reclaim her life in theater and return to the world that she loved.

[Female] Caris, tell me. What happens if you don't write this down? I lose it. It never existed. The whole day is usually forgotten if I don't write it down. More fog. No memory. No short-term memory. I can't remember what I did last night. I can't recall who I spoke to on the phone or who came to visit me or what I watched on the boob tube, but I can remember my life up until the operation, and it was quite a fine life. [Singing] It's a fine life. My mind is a blank. Not a notion in it except for what is happening at the moment. [Kate Burton, Actress] I have never known an actress to go on a stage with no short-term memory. I've never known that. [Lewis Blank] [Playwright/Comedian] Memory for an actor is essentially the trust that you will remember. That's what memory is in theater. You trusting the fact that you don't think about these lines, that you trust the fact that when you open your mouth it will come out. Your brain does know it. [Brad Watkins] [Theater Director] Oh, yeah. You did get lost a couple times. I had no idea what the play was about. No idea. It's scary. I go onstage, and I don't know where I am, and I see these people looking at me, and I know I'm supposed to do something. [David Carr] [Journalist - NY Times] Whatever it is, I-T, whatever a star has, she totally had it. In spite of what she was up against, her confidence and gifts as a performer were readily apparent. I mean, this is by some measures one of the greater actors of our generation. None of that stuff went away. [♪ Music ♪] [Caris' Peace]
Posted on BrainLine January 29, 2013.

Used with permission from film director Gaylen Ross, GRFilms, Inc. and Rebecca Nelson, © 2011.

Caris’ Peace was the official selection of such esteemed film festivals as the Hamptons International Film Festival, Williamstown Film Festival, Santa Fe Film Festival, Heartland Film Festival, and Cleveland International Film Festival. It won Best Documentary Feature at the Athens International Film Festival, Ohio, and was an award winner in the Calgary “Picture This” International Disability Film Festival. (USA, 2011, 76 min., color, Blu-ray)

Available for special presentations. Contact Gaylen Ross at