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Move Me No Mountain by Deborah Richards

If the streets don’t kill you the guilt will.

When successful real estate agent, Jenna Anderson, can no longer deal with the crushing guilt of her daughter’s death she walks out of society to live a life of sleeping rough on the streets of Las Vegas.

Move Me No Mountain, written and directed by four time Southwest regional student Emmy award winner, Deborah Richards, and produced by Emmy-nominated, Producer, Patrick Wirtz, is the story of Jenna Anderson, a successful Las Vegas real estate agent who is haunted by the loss of her daughter, Gigi, in a fatal car accident. Jenna’s sense of guilt for causing the accident overwhelms her as she loses her sense of purpose in life.

The three act traditional story is presented in a linear timeline starting with our protagonist mentally spiraling after the death of her daughter. The pain she carries incites her to walk away from society at the end of the first act. 

Homeless, alone, and numbed by her trauma—Jenna enters the life of a homeless person in a city defined by its glamor and hedonism. We follow her journey over the course of a couple of years as she tries to punish herself for the mistakes of her past, adapting to the transient nature of street life and its shameful, pushed-to-the-margins neglect from the rest of society.

Despite the violence of the streets and the desperate need for personal survival, her sense of responsibility outweighs her burden of guilt when she unexpectedly becomes a mother figure for an exploited homeless child named Lizbeth. This catalyst drives Jenna to initiate the first steps of a return to society. The story ends with Jenna and Lizbeth together in a shelter for families. Jenna may still not be able to let go of the past, but together with Lizbeth she can write a new future.

Shot on location and in a cinema verité style, Move Me No Mountain explores homelessness in the United States. This represents both a sense of separation from a physical home and in alienation from oneself, the loss of an emotional center arising from trauma and guilt. 

Jenna’s fall from grace is a tale that could happen to anyone. By making this movie we hope to shine a light on a subject that is all too often swept under the rug of society. Move Me No Mountain portrays themes of guilt, alienation and rootlessness in modern American society, but ultimately it is a story of hope and second chances.