Downpour Resurfacing

Independent Lens's "Downpour Resurfacing” Follows Robert Hall's Journey to Recovery from Childhood Abuse

Experimental Film by Frances Nkara Premieres Nationally on "Independent Lens,” ITVS's Acclaimed Series on PBS, Tuesday, January 27 at 10:30 P.M. (check local listings)

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"Brilliant, thoughtful, and heartrending. ‘Downpour Resurfacing' offers a tearing story of drama and the healing rein of wisdom..” 
— Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart 

(San Francisco, CA)— It is difficult to fathom that a film on the abuse of children could be hopeful, but DOWNPOUR RESURFACING is exactly that. Simple and complex at the same time, the film is the about the journey of Robert Hall, who traveled the difficult path from being a victim to becoming a healer to others. 

Filmmaker Frances Nkara first met Robert Hall on a weekend meditation retreat. Hearing him improvise a talk, letting himself share whatever came to mind, she was struck by how bravely and generously he told the stories of his childhood sexual and physical abuse, and how he worked through it. "At 66, Robert had found a way to relate to the experience openly and beyond the necessary stages of anger,” she says. "I sensed that he was not in denial but had truly found peace with it. That evening lingered in my imagination and settled into my bones.” She decided to make a film to tell his story. 

DOWNPOUR RESURFACING will air nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Don Cheadle, on Tuesday, January 27 at 10:30 P.M. (check local listings). 

Unfortunately, the terrible events that happened to Hall when he was growing up are not isolated occurrences, but part of a social epidemic. One in four women and one in six men report heartrending stories of sexual abuse similar to Hall's. Many suffer in denial or silent fear of being seen and shunned as damaged victims. They struggle wondering if they will be haunted for life, and often question if such a life is worth continuing. Their lovers, families and friends also grapple with the repercussions. Nkara believed a film about Hall would help address the issue through the experiences of someone who had come to peace with it personally. 

DOWNPOUR RESURFACING, in haunting black and white, features the spoken words of Hall as he relates his experiences with simplicity, clarity and compassion. Over his words, Nkara has used images and sounds to evoke a dream world, a world where both beauty and pain exist in memories half-hidden, half-seen. Hall explains how he grew up with a "created” personality, living a double life where the trauma and hurt of his childhood were buried until he became an adult. 

While hatred and anger might have claimed his spirit, DOWNPOUR RESURFACING reveals the path Hall took to reclaiming himself, rekindling his sense of connectedness with others, and finally being able to live a life of meaning and worth. 

The program's interactive companion website features detailed information about the film, including an interview with the filmmaker, cast and crew bios, as well as links and resources pertaining to the film's subject matter. The site also features a "talkback” section for viewers to share their ideas and opinions, preview clips of the film, and more. 

Director, Camera, Editor: Frances Nkara
Spoken Words (nonfiction): Robert Hall
Dancers: Krista DeNio, Brenton Cheng
Tea Ceremony: Sousei Shimaoka
Other Performers: Alvaro Colindres, Alma Moya
Original Score: Ben Yonas & Frances Nkara
Supervising Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer: Eric Kuehnl
Sound Recordist: David Silberberg
Interview Camera Operator: A. Leo Nash
Interview Gaffer: John Schweitzer 

Robert Hall Bio 
Robert K. Hall, M.D., is a poet, a psychiatrist of the body/mind, and meditation teacher. A pioneer in the integration of bodywork, psychotherapy and spiritual practice for decades, Dr. Hall is co-founder of the Lomi School and Lomi Community Clinic in Santa Rosa, California. He teaches in the United States, Mexico, Europe and South America. 

The Lomi School and Counseling Clinic have become well known in this country and in Europe for its excellence in providing training for psychologists interested in developing skills in body-based and meditation-related therapy. Dr. Hall still teaches at the Lomi School and travels internationally to offer workshops and training in Lomi work ( 

Dr. Hall has also been a teacher of meditation and has led meditation retreats since 1980. He is currently on the Teachers Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, California—a Buddhist meditation center offering residential silent meditation retreats ( He is a beloved teacher to thousands, and a mentor to hundreds of students. 

Dr. Hall is also a published poet and performer. His book of poems Out of Nowhere, was released by Running Wolf Press in 2000. He has given numerous public readings of his work, and with musicians he has performed three spoken-word and music concerts. He has released What a Mystery, in collaboration with musicians, Brian Hand and Teja Bell. 

About the Filmmaker 
Frances Nkara (Director / Camera / Editor) develops stories arising from body and dream through improvisation. Her most recent nonfiction piece, DOWNPOUR RESURFACING, screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, was awarded Most Promising Filmmaker and the No Violence Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, as well as Best Experimental Film at the New Jersey International Film Festival. 

Frances was born in Denver, Colorado and grew up in Northern California. As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, she was invited to do research with an award-winning chemist who taught her to delve deeply in inquiry and to listen intently to nature's intelligence. After earning a master's degree in biophysics from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and while on her way to a PhD in neurobiophysics at Berkeley, Frances found that the mysteries of mind and memory evaded microscopes. For their secrets she turned to the arts of body and dream, plumbing visceral truths and politic as they arise through improvisation. After two years also arguing social philosophy and the theater of politics as former governor Jerry Brown's radio producer, bodywork, culinary arts, and intensive meditation practice became central to this exploration into the unspoken. She wrote and performed solo pieces, Shatterlines, Pillow, and Going On, treating the repercussions of sexual abuse and denial. Combining this internal inquiry with social engagement, she participated on the board and designed the San Francisco 2002 V-Day Soiree in conjunction with Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues. At Burning Man she danced in Pepe Ozan's operas and with sculptor Dana Albany's Bone Tree. She created films for live performances which employ dance and recycled footage to navigate environmental assault and the cyclic dynamics of war-creation. 

She has begun work for a new film that follows a woman who, conceived before Roe v. Wade and given away for adoption, finds her real family. This new work explores family blood ties and scrambled identity through a comic-ironic collage of fictionally used archival footage and documentary-style fictional scenes. 

About Independent Lens 
Independent Lens is a weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about a unique individual, community or moment in history, which prompted Nancy Franklin in The New Yorker to write "Watching Independent like going into an independent bookstore—you don't always find what you were looking for but you often find something you didn't even know you wanted.” Presented by ITVS, the series is supported by interactive companion websites, and national publicity and community outreach campaigns. Further information about the series is available at lens. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

About ITVS 
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 P.M. on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. More information about ITVS can be obtained by visiting ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American People. 

About PBS 
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.


Posted on November 17, 2003