A woman retells her experience after being ensnared by a highly pathological man and suffers the consequences. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on March 26, 2014.
About this project
“The psychopaths are always around. In calm times we study them, but in times of upheaval, they rule over us.” ― Ernst Kretschmer
...Jenna Stauffer & Paul Hardt -co-producers
To help understand what happened to our female subject (victim).
To understand your own traits that may make you vulnerable to borderlines, narcissists, anti-socials, sociopaths, and psychopaths.
To present a clear and compelling approach to recovery.
Our Film (from our subject’s perspective)
Inevitable Harm is a documentary intertwining observational and interview footage to retell the story of a law-abiding woman named Tamara. On a sunny afternoon in 2008, without prior knowledge of wrongdoing, she was handcuffed by police and arrested in front of her children at a local hotel. Also arrested was her fiancé, Richard. Subsequently, twenty charges were filed against the couple. The upheaval that entered her life along with Richard now took on a new magnitude of destruction.
From Tamara’s perspective, what followed was six years of traveling with her spouse for his ‘business’, and the promise of an imminent reunification with her children and the return of normalcy. With phantom support from some of the captains of modern day industry (other cons role-playing), Richard disguised his escape as a promising business venture. However, he was on the run and took his new wife, Tamara, along for the ride. Unknowingly, Tamara was living day to day with a brilliant liar capable of using all measures of deceit and intensely focused on manipulating her while surreptitiously conning individuals out of money. Richard used a network of peers (cons) to delude her and fulfill the charade, while Tamara watched her life dwindle to transiency and additional arrests. With Richard calling the shots, her children, family and friends were gone from her life finding it all but inexplicable that she still chose to stand by her man. However, Tamara was operating from a different belief system: she had misconstrued his charming and charismatic nature as one of an honest, confident businessman and loving husband dedicated to providing and protecting her. In truth, she was living in a fabricated, alternate reality with a dangerous man.
How did he manipulate her?
For decades, an independent and idealistic Tamara had longed for The American Dream: A family, being a soccer mom, owning a home complete with the white picket fence and a minivan in the garage. But it wasn’t as easy as she originally thought. After completing graduate school earning her third degree, came a divorce and now as a single mother with three young children, life had not worked out as she planned. Spread thin, but ready to move on, she began to date. Enter Richard; charming, looking for stimulation and a woman that he could capture. As Tamara retold, he had no real identity of his own, so Richard soon absorbed Tamara’s identity and values and mirrored them back to her. Playing on her emotions while using her children as bait (now in the custody of their father), and her desire for the American Dream, Richard fed her those hopes and toyed with all that she held most precious. Six years later, the couple experienced their third arrest, this time for false identification. After a brief stint in jail during 2013, Tamara began to realize what seemed to be obvious to her friends and family. She had been misled by one of the best.
To touch a wide audience, we believe we need to connect to universal themes:
The film shows Tamara’s perspective of the inevitable harm that follows when someone is in relationship with a disordered spouse --the sorrows and emotional trauma that come from being caught in the crossfire of antisocial behaviors and an incessant need for control and drama. The documentary also focuses on the moments of grace as Tamara restarts and mends her life.
By observing Tamara’s retelling of life on the road, daily chaos, controlling behaviors, and the absolute and total horror that her children have experienced abandonment, the film uncovers a universal story of self-discovery, redemption and acceptance. With award winning author, Sandra L. Brown and her team, various counselors, friends and Tamara’s own amazing inner-resilience, our subject begins to excel.
TAKING A STEP BACK
Inevitable Harm‘s longitudinal filming technique displays an actual story of recovery - An approach providing us with an opportunity to experience her plight (recovery) through the eyes of the viewers, whom get to experience a completely unfamiliar world, broadening our understanding of this chaotic and convoluted journey.
Our film reveals a dangerous form of an personality disorder and psychological abuse. As our subject discovered, men such as her husband can be extremely engaging and come across like Prince Charming. Advocating for herself for the first time in six years, our subject sets out to find a safe haven, reenter the workforce, stabilize her relationships with her family and ensure this does not happen to anyone else. Her resilience, rehabilitation and desire to create a new life at forty-one-years-old is a classic story of the human condition.
How Did We Find Tamara?
JENNA STAUFFER: I was volunteering with a life skills/writing class at the Monroe County Detention Center and met Tamara for the first time. She was one of the inmates in the class and, to me, didn't look like she belonged. Knowing nothing about her I soon became drawn to Tamara each week. She would share her writing and her poetry, which never failed to excel. It was full of fraught, pain and loss. From her poetry and Tamara's presence, I knew this woman had a story. I heard the honesty of her pain, the emotional scars seemingly everywhere, and somehow, it was beautiful. It wasn't long after her release from jail that I was given the opportunity to talk and listen to Tamara and quickly realized she was beyond ordinary. This remarkably strong, resilient woman had a back-story that was a mile wide and just as deep that needed to be shared with others. I immediately knew this was someone Paul Hardt had to meet!
PAUL HARDT: On a South Florida morning down at a local park, it was the first time I’d spoken in person to Tamara. Her choreography with the spoken word seemed to be so poetic and free. She made me see in still pictures but yet her story haunted me.
Tamara had just entered her second month living on the outside, she had set new goals to find a job and stabilize her nuclear family. She certainly seemed on her way to recovery but still had a rough road ahead. Living in a local homeless residence for women, where she followed a strict schedule, she spoke for the first time of reestablishing her independence and desire to still have a fulfilling life. She was ready to confront the hurdles posed as having been assumed to be Richard’s willing accomplice. She also clearly knew her rehabilitation and desire to rekindle her passion for life would soon be challenged with the imminent release of her husband from jail. As she gathered supporters around her, Tamara recognized her safety was potentially at risk as her husband would soon realize that his coveted possession (Tamara) had slipped from his grasp. The seed was planted for a larger story. It was time to roll the cameras for real.
Even with so much time, energy and footage already invested in this project we are still finishing up primary photography and are almost ready to edit. With the enthusiasm from our invaluable fans, mental health professionals, author Sandra L. Brown (Women Who Love Psychopaths), the local community and, most importantly, Tamara herself, we are ready to make this happen!
That's where you come in....
Upon the film's completion, we will be working closely with mental health organizations to execute an effective outreach campaign surrounding the film. Because of this documentary, a great deal of interest in forming a non-profit within the southern Florida counties has just been initiated. We've had preliminary meetings with other non-profit organizations and multiple specialists in personality disorders and ways in which to recover from these relationships.
Here's What We Need:
$20,600 is the bare minimum we need to bring this massive amount of footage to a final cut, and cover hard costs of production housing/travel expenses, bringing in a guest lecturer, and for format & coloring. We will finally be able to answer the call to distributors and funders who want to see what Tamara’s story is really about. Without these funds, all we can do is sit at home on a pile of digital content.
Risks and challenges
TECHNICAL: Once we have the remainder of footage in the can, and a solid cut, our next step is to raise a bit more money to complete the more technical aspects of post-production. Other stretch funds will go to P.R./marketing and film festival entry fees. (see graph)
OUTPUT: We've already started soliciting festivals and regional television to determine interest/effective content.
OUTREACH: Upon the film's completion, we will be working closely with mental health organizations to execute an effective outreach campaign surrounding the film.
SCHEDULE: If we are behind schedule, we will promptly notify all funders. That said, all non-film related rewards should be fulfilled well before December 2014.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (29 days)