Portrait photographer Annie Levy unifies her experiences photographing filmmaker Jason DaSilva with a powerful verse in Deuteronomy.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
When Annie Levy photographed Jason DaSilva, he spoke of a short film, When I Walk, that he had just completed for the Tribeca Film Festival. He shared with her that after working as a filmmaker for ten years, he made the decision to focus the lens on his own experience with having primary-progressive MS. When I Walk is about his journey as a 30-year-old film director living with a complex disease amidst complex circumstances. His personal narrative is the anchor point in a film that weaves together interviews, incidents in the life of a young filmmaker and current information about multiple sclerosis.
Annie then created a portrait of Jason through her lens.
When thinking about making Jason’s portrait, Annie connects her experience to a passage in Deuteronomy (30:19-20): “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”.
She says, “I have read this passage of Scripture so many times that I had almost missed the irony that when actually told that there is a CHOICE of life and death, God has to exhort: choose LIFE. In some strange way I almost imagine Him standing behind me, the chooser, not raising His voice but rather in that same whisper that Elijah heard, saying moment by moment, choose life… so that you and your children may LIVE.”
Learn more about Jason's work at www.wheniwalk.com.
Annie Levy is a creative director and writer/photographer who conceives, creates and exhibits projects, telling stories to transform the way we see things.
As a result of her work and enthusiasm about her subjects, she is frequently asked to speak at conferences and present to groups, using her projects to discuss such topics as Visual Messaging, Health Care Design, Images and Aging, as well as concepts related to overall project development and design.
Included in her speaking engagements/presentations are the New York Times Company Foundation's program for journalists at the International Longevity Center, the Cleveland Clinic Patient Empathy & Innovation Summit, John A. Hartford Communications Conferences, and the American Society on Aging's National Conference. She has been the keynote speaker for Center for Health Design's Environments and Aging Conference, lectured at Sarah Lawrence College in the Health Care Advocacy Department and has conducted a Grand Rounds presentation at Mount Sinai School of Medicine's Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, NYC. Annie spoke at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Empathy and Innovation Summit as well as at the Joint Commission Ambulatory Care Conference in 2015. Most recently, in November 2016, she spoke at Google's Ignite Healthcare. She has her BFA from NYU Film School.