Alumna films, directs documentary focused on strengthening friendships

Celine Park

“[The film] moved me in ways I didn’t expect it to. It really speaks to the power of friendship and what it means to be there for someone while they are healing.” – Jasmine Wang ’21

Camille Shooshani (left) and Léa Moret (right) reflect on their desert journey.

Alumna Camille Shooshani ’13 filmed and directed her first autobiographical Netflix documentary, which follows the journey she and her best friend, Léa Moret, took to South America after graduating from college.

The film focuses on the pair’s friendship, as well as Moret’s search for alternate methods to Western medicine in Central and South America as she looks to cure her cystic fibrosis, a potentially life-threatening genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system.

“I wanted to shoot [a video] and practice filming, and [Moret] really, for the first time, wanted to talk about her illness,” Shooshani said. “We really wanted to travel to South America for a while and explore the region a little bit, so we put those three things together.”

During the trip, Shooshani and Moret explored different parts of Central and South America. They also visited destinations such as Mexico City, Bogota, the Amazon and the Atacama Desert.

One of the main challenges Shooshani encountered was that the experience of filming and directing was relatively new to her, she said.

“We were doing everything independently, so we had no one to tell us what to do,” Shooshani said. “We had to be our own bosses and be in charge of our own finances.”

Despite initial obstacles, Shooshani said she and Moret strengthened their friendship, which became one of the film’s main themes, during the creative process.

“Friendship is different from romantic or even familial love,” Shooshani said. “It’s a love that has no obligations tied to it, but it can also propel you so much further.”

Jasmine Wang ’21, who watched the documentary, said the film changed her perspective on companionship for the better.
“[The film] moved me in ways I didn’t expect it to,” Wang said. “It really speaks to the power of friendship and what it means to be there for someone while they are healing.”

The documentary also featured young women discovering the deeper meaning behind their actions, even during confusing times, Shooshani said.

“There are not enough stories about what a female friendship is and what it feels like, especially as young women,” Shooshani said.
Shooshani said that the film is a good representation of life after college with her best friend.

“We were literally right out of college when we did this, so it’s such an amazing document of that time,” Shooshani said. “You’re thrown into the world for the first time, and that’s really what this story is about. Another aspect of the movie is about what it means to face your pain, but mostly it’s about female friendship.”