A wondrous documentary five years in the making, Because We Have Each Other chronicles the lives of Janet and Brent, and their five adult children, a neurodiverse family on the working-class fringe. Life has been hard, and blended families can be messy – yet amidst the chaos, their love is as real as it is unconventional. At times deeply funny, this beautiful film by our customers Sari Braithwaite and Chloé Brugalé examines the hopes and heartbreaks of one family as they invite us into their extraordinary home.
After meeting at a local RSL Janet Sharrock who has two children and Brent “Buddha” Barnes who has three; marry to unite their families, Brady Bunch style. Now grown up, Becky (famous for being one of only 80 people in the world with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory), Jessica (a comedian living with depression), Brendan (who aspires to take over Buddha’s repair shop) and young Kylie and Dylan laugh, cry, contemplate existence and dream of bigger futures in a society that refuses to see them.
In this intimate, observational documentary we are invited inside the Barnes' home to experience their everyday rituals, recollections and explore the depth of everyday life. While Braithwaite shows us the routines that define their days, she also gives us insight into moments both magnificent and mundane. With stunning shots of night skies, pouring rain and multitudinous stars as well as tender interviews about love and loss, Because We Have Each Other is an unforgettable exploration of a family living on the outer fringes of suburbia.
You can watch this and more during the 70th Melbourne International Film Festival this August.
All images courtesy of the filmmakers.