Synopsis: Roz Pichardo is more than a domestic violence and gun violence survivor, she’s a warrior. Despite of – or because of – being thrown off a bridge by an abusive ex-boyfriend, the unsolved murder of her brother, and the suicide of her identical twin sister, she’s able to channel her trauma into service by helping the often-forgotten people of North Philadelphia.
From giving comfort to families of murder victims to saving the lives of over 500 men and women in active opioid addiction, Roz knows that her healing and her survival depends upon healing others.
After years of working on a documentary film and photography project about the impact of gun violence on survivors and family members of victims, I was in search of a story about a warrior – someone who has not only made the most of a tragic situation but who has come out stronger on the other side. Roz Pichardo is such a warrior.
After my first few interviews with Roz, I knew that her story needed to be told. I needed to learn how – either in spite of her trauma or because of her trauma – she’s able to the overcome the decades of gun violence and domestic violence experiences that would render most people unable to function. I can say with the highest degree of confidence that viewers of “Hello Sunshine” have never met a woman like Roz.
We filmed for over 18 months throughout the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington – a community with one of the highest opioid epidemics in the country. For both safety and the kind of trust that I needed to earn, I worked with as small a crew as was possible. This residents of Kensington have long been exploited by the media and any sort of large footprint would make us very unwelcome.
We’ve reversed overdoses together (she has saved the lives of over 500 people), we’ve camped out in the winter to raise awareness of unsolved murder cases, and we made a deep, lasting connection based on respect, honesty, and genuine good intention.
“Hello Sunshine” is just the beginning of an amazing story that will reveal itself in the years to come.
Joe Quint is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from Brooklyn, NY. Widely exhibited, Joe’s work consists largely of telling well-intentioned and respectful stories about people on journeys – people who either are experiencing great challenges or who have overcome such challenges. His most recent film project, “Hello Sunshine”, profiles a woman who has survived decades of gun violence and domestic violence trauma and has channeled these traumas into service – saving the lives of those in active opioid addiction and supporting the families of murder victims.
In addition, Joe has an on-going project about the impact of gun violence on a diverse group of Americans. Young, old, rich, poor, in big cities and in rural communities – “It Takes Us” shows how gun violence cuts through the heart of the country. “It Takes Us” has been published globally and presented at colleges, universities, medical centers, and more.
Joe graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. While largely a self-taught artist, Joe credits his liberal arts education for sparking a desire to better understand the human condition.