In So Many Words is a documentary that explores the inner life of a woman whose Southern Gothic childhood has both tormented and motivated her at each phase of her life. Lucy Daniels was born into a prominent Raleigh newspaper family and she lived, and almost died, by her ability to write. Despite suffering from severe anorexia, she weighed only 50 pounds at age 17, and enduring brutal and barbaric treatment in mental hospitals far from home, she penned a bestseller and won a Guggenheim, all before age twenty-two. The film uses imagined narrative, constructed dream sequences, intimate interviews and Lucy’s own writing to bring her story to the silver screen.

As an experimental hybrid documentary–the first of its kind–the film weaves together “relational” recreations, animated dream sequences, constructed worlds and intimate interviews to tell a worthwhile story of survival and creativity, filtered through the eyes of subject and filmmaker. The film was created with the cooperation of Lucy Daniels but is an independent project that premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2013.

Project Director, Producer, Editor: Elisabeth Haviland James
Writers: Lindsay Devlin and Elisabeth Haviland James
Cinematography: Andreas Burgess
Art Direction and Creative Consultant: Revere La Noue

Featuring: Lucy Daniels