Q&A with Elke Weiss, producer of Truth Never Lies movie

1. What is Truth Never Lies about and why did you create it?

I had written many scripts and decided it’s time to produce my own movie after going to UCLA film school. I did produce a TV show in the past but a movie is quite different. The scripts I had were too expensive to produce so I took the approach of writing a script that would require a lower budget. Limiting to less locations for example was a great way to save money. The topic of memories has always fascinated me. The fact that our memories are fallible opens up a lot of discussions. There has been done fantastic research by Daniel Schacter, Elizabeth Loftus or Daniella Schiller about this topic. Current neuroscience goes very deep into this and challenges 100 years of scientific research.

2. How can you relate to the characters in Truth Never Lies?

I think every character goes through it’s own journey and I can relate to all of them, but Sky holds the essence of the film. I love her character. For some, the idea of losing your memory is frightening, but there’s also the idea of liberation and innocence that comes with it. That is what I wanted to show in her character. She basically is living every day with an openness and a lot of questions. That is how I generally approach my life- asking questions instead of making assumptions of conclusions. Being ‘right’ releases dopamine in the brain, so you start to wonder what the true motivation is for a conclusion in the first place.

3. How do you think memories affect us and our experience of life? And, how can we heal ourselves from traumatic memories?

Good memories can bring a lot of joy obviously. But when it comes to bad or traumatic memories people have the tendency to identify so deeply with it and think their memories is who they are. This often creates a lot of pain. What new research has shown though is that every time we access our memory we change it, and every time we remember it, we don’t remember the original but the revised version. So what is the actual truth of these memories and what is the truth of the pain that comes with it? There is a lot of liberation in the thought that the memories we hold might not be the truth but only a carved story.

In regards to your question about traumatic memories and how we can heal ourselves, I think there are a lot of layers to it. I’m personally just going through the experience of a suicide in my family, and I think it is necessary to feel the pain to heal, but I also can recognize the moment when you use that pain to go consciously into deeper suffering, this is when we become victims of the story and/or the pain. It is crucial to catch that moment and train yourself and your brain to reach for a different or healthier thought. Thoughts are powerful, both in positive and negative ways.

4. Do you believe in past life memories? If so, how do you think those memories affect our current life and struggles?

I personally believe in past life memories, but in a way it really doesn’t matter because everything from the past affect us NOW. And we can make a conscious decision on how these memories affect us in the NOW.

5. How can we become more aware of how our past memories are affecting our present experience of reality?

That is a great question and it already carries the answer in the question and that is AWARE. How many people can describe the street they live in and walk down every day a few times? It starts right there. TRUE AWARENESS. Perceiving something while distancing yourself from your brain racing to conclusions, that is the trick. It costs the brain a lot of energy to digest everything that comes at us. It pulls out any information from your memory that is similar but not necessarily of help or accurate, only so the processing can be done quickly, and the brain can rest. I think we have to question exactly that. What do I really see, what does it mean? Is this really true? Is this thought true? What state of mind or body am I currently in that could influence or create this thought or emotion? I personally don’t take anything seriously my brain comes up with, I do like to question it.

6. What were some of the challenges of making a film that asks some deeper spiritual and psychological questions and also finding distribution?

I often wonder if I should rather have done a documentary because there is just so much more to say and learn. There are so many things taught in school but none when it comes to HOW to think or deal with life. Everyone should have the chance to learn what makes them tick, what they are good at or what is the underlying value threatened when they get angered by someone else? There is great value in knowing HOW you function, because then you also can get a sense for how other people function, it creates a lot of understanding.

Finding distribution was not such a huge task, I had several offers as the film did win an award. The film was a bit tricky to market though, I really tried to make it somewhat commercial, but because of the underlying topic, a lot of TV stations turned us down. After seven years, I’m glad to have my film back in my hands though, and I’m thrilled that it is now on Amazon Prime.

7. What’s next for the film and how can we watch it?

I’m excited to see that people are already watching the film on Amazon Prime. Our film is being well perceived by an audience that suffers from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, or PTSD. The film seems to give them a more positive perception on their daily challenges. So I’m currently talking to organizations to get the word out about the film. The neuroscience and spiritual community is next on the list to contact. What makes me most excited though is that everyone, no matter what background seems to gain a different insight watching the film.
Here is the link to the movie if you want to see it:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CZB37PD

Thank you so much for this interview, you really asked question that got to the core of the movie.

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