"Sondra Berman: A Life of Transitions"
films by Zenith Hass
Portraits from a life
About the filmmaker
Sondra in her 20s.
Sondra Berman today.
SONDRA BERMAN is a 77-year-old retired speech pathologist from Brooklyn New York. After years of living in New Jersey, she has now resided back to New York City. She has lived a life that has been full of transitions – beginning with being a young girl that was rushed into a traditional marriage that failed, to a establishing a non-traditional relationship with a woman, Grace, to being alone after Grace’s passing and now taking care of her aunt who is struggling with dementia.
Sondra in her 20s.
Sondra on her wedding day.
Her parents were very happy.
Sondra and Grace, her partner for 23 years.
Bess, adored and cared for by Sondra.
Zenith Hass at the 2012 Litchfield Hills Film
Festival in Torrington, Conn.
ZENITH HAAS is a New Jersey native who moved to Virginia in 2006. She is the youngest child and has two older sisters, Ebony and Avalon. She is a student at Christopher Newport University and an Interdisciplinary Studies major with plans to pursue a career in Motion Picture Archiving and Preservation. She does her best to balance her academic and extracurricular work, as she is also the founder and president of the Film Club of CNU.
Sondra Berman is the grandmother of her half-sister, Ebony. Although had always seen Ebony as her full-sister, she viewed Sondra as Ebony’s grandmother, not hers. This project gave Zenith the opportunity to learn more about Sondra and see her in a new light.
“[With Grace, I transitioned] into a life where I shared almost nothing with my partner to a life where I was sharing everything – we cooked together, we worked together…we supported each other…we had all sorts of life experiences that we shared. Nothing was isolated…I miss her a lot – she was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
"A Life of Transitions" (2:13)
"Wedded Sorrow" (5:48)
"New Attractions" (4:41)
"Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" (8:07)
"Life Alone in the Big Apple" (5:58)
"Taking on the Role of Caretaker" (6:23)