A testament to the power of love, Bad Hurt chronicles a family’s hopeful battle to stay together as personal demons and destructive secrets threaten to rip them apart.
Elaine Kendall, a determined Staten Island, NY housewife, fights to keep her family together in the face of growing chaos. A once passionate love affair with her husband Ed, a proud Vietnam veteran, is evaporating after many years of unspoken regrets. Together, they struggle to make sense of the blossoming romance between their adult, mentally challenged daughter and a provocative co- worker.
Meanwhile, their patriotic eldest son fights to overcome physical and psychological scars from serving in the Gulf War in Iraq. Their youngest son lives in the shadow of his brother’s accomplishments, wishing nothing more than to carve out his own place in his father’s heart.
Anticipating the WORLD PREMIERE of ‘Bad Hurt‘ at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival we spoke with the film’s Co-Writer and Director Mark Kemble on a variety of topics including the film’s highly personal origins, advice to others dealing with similar issues of PTSD, the trials and tribulations of a first time Director, and more.
‘Bad Hurt‘ screens at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on Monday, April 20, Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, 2015 in New York City.
Find More Information & Tickets to ‘Bad Hurt’ at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival – HERE
Bad Hurt is an emotionally charged dramatic piece that tackles some difficult issues, a son suffering from the physical and psychological effects of war, a special needs daughter and a strained marriage. Is this story in some why based on your own personal family experiences? Why was this story particularly important for you to tell?
Bad Hurt is based on my family. The film is essentially twenty years of my family condensed into Christmas week. It was an important play and film to me because this was a family drenched in shame and it took a measure of courage for them to recover from that and restore their respect and pride. I admire people who suffer great loss and are somehow able to survive and, because of the great loss, become better people than they once were.
For families out there who are facing similar challenges to those portrayed in Bad Hurt, what do you hope they learn from this film?
I would say from my experience with my family that it is essential that families accept the reality of their struggles, to face them without judgment, to love one another in the face of disappointment, loss, and death.
How did you and co-writer Jamieson Stern end up collaborating on Bad Hurt? What was the creative process like in writing the screenplay together? Did one focus more on dialogue and the other on structure?
I had just returned to Los Angeles after my mother’s funeral and I knew I wanted to write the story of my family for film but also knew I did not want to write it alone. The play, Bad Hurt on Cedar Street, had already been produced successfully. I asked Jamieson if he was interested in writing the screenplay with me and he agreed to co-write. I lied to him by saying I thought I had financing in place. The writing process wasn’t delineated with one person specializing in dialog and another with structure, etc. What we both knew was that plays are not movies. Plays are word driven and film of course, is image driven so we had to pull the dramatic elements from the play and tell the story in a different way. Jamieson Stern is one of the most talented writer-directors I have come across in thirty-five years in theater and film so I felt lucky to have him throw in with me. We continue to write together.
Bad Hurt is your feature directorial debut. From a directing perspective, what was the most challenging aspect of the production?
I had written for film and written and directed for theater so I had certain skills that helped with this kind of film. I do know how to communicate with actors and had a strong vision and I had my great D.P., Igor Kropotov who was always on top of his game. The big challenge for me was to move fast while maintaining high quality and I had a great group of actors who believed in the story and in me.
What led to your decision to debut Bad Hurt at the Tribeca Film Festival?
Theo Rossi was very attracted to Tribeca because the film is set in Staten Island and it is also where Theo lives so he thought it would be a great fit and I agreed. Of course, we had to get invited to the party and we are all very happy that we did.
-Interview conducted by Stephen Reilly
About The Filmmaker
Mark Kemble is an award-winning writer/director from Providence, Rhode Island. His credits include Race and Facing Fear. Together with Jamieson Stern, Kemble adapted his play, Bad Hurt on Cedar Street, into film.