Ernesto Quintero has traveled the world with his camera, producing films, and creating social change by telling stories of substance & beauty. Quintero has brought light to exceptional stories that otherwise would go unnoticed and his work is unmistakably poignant and recognized by many. His awards include the Imagen Award for Outstanding Stage Production, a Cine Golden Eagle Award and a NAMIC award.
His remarkable talent has been shifted to his own family and I had the chance to talk with Ernesto about the film, his brother, and a program designed to offer support to long-term caregivers. He was in Chicago kicking off the first Clorox night honoring caregivers and he shared thoughts about his film, “The Sacred Journey” and his hopes for the film’s impact on caregivers of individuals with chronic diseases.
BK: I understand that one of the reasons that you documented the last years of your brother, Juan’s, life, was so that his children would be able to have a way of connecting with their father after he passed away. In what way has that developed?
EQ: The film has become a healing tool for the family. The children like seeing themselves when they were younger and , being a bit older they have a somewhat better understanding of what was happening to their father.
BK: I think that what you have done is powerful, remarkable and very moving. How were you able to manage what might have been conflicting emotions, the feelings toward your brother and the objectivity needed to share a meaningful story?
EQ: On one hand there is the technical, creative part and on the other hand, the emotional. The technical part involves sticking to work, deadlines and so on and tends to cover the emotional part. When the emotions do arise, it is anger that I experience. When that happens, I move away from the computer, bring myself to the present, and remember the beautiful story I am telling and why.
BK: What was the most difficult part of this adventure for you?
EQ: My greatest challenge is leaving the care giving tasks to other family members. In order to express our family’s love creatively, I need to spend a lot of time shooting and editing. At times I feel very guilty, not being able to do enough to care for Juan. I try to bring myself to being present in the moment when I am with Juan. It is, however, very difficult to be with someone who can’t really respond in any way.
BK: What was easiest for you?
EQ: I love what I do. I love being a filmmaker and I like the fact that I can tell my brother’s story to the world, the honest story, fully expressed.
BK: What is the plan for the film now that it is being shown in theaters?
EQ: I have teamed with Clorox in an experiment, inviting caregivers for a relaxing night out. They will have the chance to see “The Sacred Journey” and to ask questions of a panel of experts. In the future, I hope to take the film from 45 minutes to a full- length feature film, which will require additional funding. There is more work to be done.
BK: Are there some specific bits of advice you would like to share with other caregivers in situations similar to that of your family?
EQ: My advice to caregivers is to log on to: WhenCareComesHome website This offers a 7 minute film, and links to resources of all kinds. There are 66 million caregivers in the U. S. each with their own story. For me, I learned that there is no cure for this disease but love is what keeps our family and community going.
BK: What main message would you like to share with Splash Magazine readers?
EQ: It is important not to get lost in care giving and to remember to celebrate who we are.
Please note upcoming events:
Though this film will have broader distribution in the future, it is currently scheduled to screen in LA and DC at Clorox CareConcepts events. It will screen in LA: Oct. 1 at 6:30 pm, Cine Family Silent Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036, and in DC: Nov. 13 at 6:30 pm, West End Cinema, 2301 M Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037
For caregiving tips, resources, inspiration, and products, visit the cloroxcareconcepts website.
A powerful story is told by the Clorox survey results below.
Caregivers can often feel like they’re alone in their struggles and joys, but there are millions facing the same issues. There is no doubt that caregivers face many challenges on a daily basis including juggling the physical, mental and emotional stress that comes with attending to the daily needs of a loved one, However, overwhelmingly, caregivers report that the positive benefits along the journey outweigh the negative and have ultimately given them a deeper meaning of life. Clorox Care Concepts and Caregiver Action Network (CAN) conducted a survey* with 1,000+ caregivers to unveil the true feelings toward their roles and found the following:
Caregiving is a Tough Road
- · Two in five caregivers report that their role has negative impacts on their lives. Specifically affecting their mental health (38%), physical health (37%) and their finances (41%).
- · A majority of caregivers agree that it is challenging to find time for themselves (62%), and two out of five (43%) feel guilty doing so.
- · Nearly half of caregivers report that it is difficult to find local resources that support them in their role (49%), but participating in online caregiver support groups and/or online caregiver communities is very helpful to them (45%).
- · Nearly half of caregivers have questioned their abilities to provide care (45%).
- · Half of caregivers surveyed think it’s challenging to manage their roles and their jobs (51%).
- · Caregivers report that their role has caused tension in their families (41%) and it causes them to sacrifice time with their families (49%).
- · A third of caregivers (34%) are torn between caring for their parents and their children.
- · On the negative side, most caregivers have felt exhausted (85%), frustrated (82%) and overwhelmed (79%). More than half of caregivers report feeling helpless (59%), isolated (54%), confused (54%) and alone (53%).
- · Caregiving can be a full-time job in itself, as one in five caregivers (21%) spend more than 40 hours a week caring for their loved one.
There is a Bright Side
- · Four out of five caregivers agree that their role has strengthened the relationship with the adult they assist (85%).
- · More than 80% of caregivers say caregiving gives them a deeper sense of gratitude in their lives (83%) and makes them feel good about themselves (82%).
- · Caregivers report their role challenges them (84%) and also motivates them to find moments in their day to celebrate life (79%).
- · A great majority of caregivers believe that their role has given them more meaning in their lives (80%) and enabling them to appreciate life more (80%).
- · Three quarters of caregivers agree that their role enables them to develop a more positive attitude toward life (74%) and two-thirds of them agree it is a gift (66%).
- · Nine out of 10 caregivers have felt needed (95%), thankful (93%), appreciated (91%) and important (88%).
- · Caregivers report that cleanliness is very important to them in their roles as caregivers (85%).
- · More than one in three caregivers report that it is confusing to select home health care products (37%) and it is difficult to find them (36%), and half (50%) of caregivers wish home health care products were easier to find.
- · Nearly half (44%) of caregivers report that it is difficult to find practical information that guides them in their roles as a caregivers.
- · Four out of five caregivers clean the home including germ control and disinfecting (83%).
To reserve a spot or get more information on the events in Los Angeles or Washington, D.C., email [email protected]
Videos: Courtesy of Clorox website