I was so LUCKY to have had an opportunity to see this exceptional documentary and meet the woman behind the story. Yes. This movie is about Space. Director Sandy Cummings gets into hope, too, something that can often be a terrible thing. The film is most certainly about Charity.
Charity Woodrum, whose life we’re learning about most. She’s a young woman from Oregon who had it all. Her happiness, her hopes and dreams, but also something she refers to as “The Worst Day.”
Director Sandy Cummings starts us by making sure we can associate with the story as a whole. We all stare up at the sky in awe and amazement, marveling at the universe we see above, wondering why we’re all here. Is there a reason? Do we praise the universe for the happy times and blame it for the terrible things that happen in our lives? Is everything random and can we count on it to come through for us… in the end?
For Charity, the universe and what was “out there” was her world. She was from a large family and because of that, the family didn’t take big vacations, but they could afford to go camping together. It was these trips that had her ogling the stars. Quite the daydreamer, stargazing filled her head with thoughts of becoming a NASA astrophysicist. They displayed several images of her in high school and told us that she was so intelligent that the school had to get the young girl books beyond her age because she moved beyond what the other students were studying.
While watching, you’re ENJOYING her DREAMS and paying attention to her mention of her “Worst Day.” She’s so happy with how life is moving, what could her worst day be? A meal was canceled?
I digress. After reading books by authors such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, she felt transported to other worlds. She had to go back to school. And she did, allowing nothing to stop her. Not long after, she had the perfect life. A wonderful husband, Jayson Thomas, and while studying and being a wife, they had a beautiful son named Woody Thomas. Along the way, she met many people who supported her and helped her get where she is today.
Please go to this website for more information about Charity and those involved behind the scenes of this beautiful film. www.spacehopecharityfilm.com
The film was made with the outstanding support of Heising-Simons Foundation, Roundhouse Foundation, Starview Foundation, and Research Corp. for Science Advancement. Fiscal sponsorship provided by International Documentary Association.
Why this hasn’t been picked up by Netflix yet is absurd. They’re making a mistake by not letting its audience watch and learn of this amazing woman’s journey to earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Arizona and actually becoming an active participant and member of the James Webb Space Telescope NIRCam Team.
The film does go into her “worst day.” It’s when she loses her husband and child as they innocently walked along the beach, she ahead of the ocean that swept them away from her. She used what happened to her and her family to reach her goals and has met sympathetic and essential people along the way. This community helped bring her to realize how she can be there for others as they have been for her. Her life has purpose, no matter how hard some days can be.
Space, Hope and Charity
Written and Directed by: Sandy Cummings
Starring: Charity Woodrum, Rachael Amaro, Chylynn Barklow, Elisha Carswell, R. Scott Fisher
Produced by: Sandy Cummings
Runtime: 1h 18m