Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath provoked many marvelous storytelling projects. Few capture the emotional core of the experience better than Anchor Me Here, a beautiful, five-minute short film by Laura Egan that serves as an homage to the residents of the Rockaways:
Shot with a special high-speed, high-fidelity camera, Anchor Me Here captures community resilience, wordlessly and perfectly, through the eyes of families, first responders, fishermen and leaders of faith.
One of the residents who make a significant appearance in the film is James “Frank the Fish” Culleton, one of the last commercial fishermen and charter boat captains in the Rockaways. Already challenged by slower economic forces affecting his 30-year livelihood, Culleton was wiped out by the storm in a single night. One year on, he remains a Sandy migrant, moving from place to place, in seemingly endless limbo.
For the past year, Brooklyn-based photographer Jonah Markowitz has been documenting Culleton’s life, and that effort resulted in a moving multimedia and photographic narrative of Culleton’s descent into purgatory, as well as a first-person account from Culleton himself called “Riding Out Sandy in the Rockaways,” which appeared recently in the New York Times.
Markowitz has set up an Indigogo campaign for Culleton, called Reeling to Recovery, which seeks a mere $7500 in funds to enable him to buy a motorhome, and the first steps back to stability and dignity. About half has been raised already – I urge you to support it.