short documentary film
Co-director, editor, cinematography

From 1965 to the present, M. Elaine and Cassandra Bromfield, two African-American women, made joyful documents of their lives in Brooklyn’s Lindsay Park Housing Cooperative on 8-mm film. 
Into My Life pays tribute to their drive for self-preservation and self-representation, highlighting the memories, identities, and relationships housed within their archive.

Into My Life has won 5 awards for Best Short Documentary film and screened at more than 30 festivals around the world, including Tribeca Film Festival, HotDocs, Camden International Film Festival, Rooftop Films, FestCurtas Belo Horizonte or Bolton International Film Festival.

9min. short version - now streaming on POV Shorts (PBS) (USA only)

Cast: Cassandra Bromfield, M.Elaine Bromfield
Directors: Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, Grace Remington
Grace Remington
Cinematography: Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling
Archival Cinematography: Cassandra Bromfield, M.Elaine Bromfield
Editor: Ivana Hucíková
Assistant Editor: Sarah Keeling
Sound Recording: Sarah Keeling
Music: Keith Kenniff
Produced by: UnionDocs
Runtime: 15 min
Year of release: 2018

Into My Life weaves together rare footage from an archive built by an African American mother-daughter filmmaking duo. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in the largest affordable housing cooperative in Brooklyn, Cassandra Bromfield’s world was artfully framed by her mother’s Super-8 camera. A schoolteacher with many creative talents, Cassandra’s mom documented the exuberance of her neighbourhood’s public spaces, showcasing the lively pool, the packed playground, and the graffitied handball court. Children and teenagers gleefully performed in front of her Bolex.

Passion to create was passed from mother to daughter, as was the lease on the affordable apartment. Cassandra still lives in the same place, working as a fashion designer during the day, sewing her clients’ visions, and as a filmmaker at night, assembling documents of her own life and environment with footage shot by her mother.  When Cassandra posts her edits online, she notes the lack of comparable footage from the time of other black families, much less footage shot by black women. She believes that her mother’s intent behind the camera was to show that the lives of the people around her, people who might otherwise be forgotten, mattered.

By exploring this rich, overlooked archive alongside Cassandra’s candid narration, Into My Life pays a moving tribute to the work of this mother-daughter duo, the community present in their neighbourhood, and the power in creative self-representation. 

This project was part of Just To Get By,
a UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Production

© Ivana Hucíková 2023