This gripping confessional documentary becomes an outlet for a mother to tell the heartrending story of her search for her missing son. Kathy Gilleran, a retired police officer from Ithaca, New York with 20 years under her belt, received a phone call on October 31, 2007. It was from the UN Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria, where her 34-year-old son, Aeryn, was working. He had disappeared.
In Gone, Gilleran shares her personal journey, putting together pieces of what happened, only to have them fall apart again. Talking directly to the camera for most of the film, her articulate manner draws the viewer into her quest for the truth. Mixing in footage she shot while searching for Aeryn in Vienna, she speaks about the frustration with the local police and an investigation full of holes. Like any loving mother, Kathy perseveres—through dead ends, contradicting reports, and signs of homophobia when Aeryn's openly gay life came into question. Gone will most likely leave many wanting more answers—the same answers Kathy wants.
Director's Statement Collapse
We first read about Aeryn Gillern's plight in July 2008, nearly 10 months after he disappeared in Vienna, Austria. We contacted his mother, Kathy, who lived less than 30 minutes from our home in upstate New York and asked if she would be willing to be interviewed on camera. Our intention was to get a fuller understanding of the case, since so little had been written about it. We were very uncertain exactly what the story was, and if we would chose to pursue it. Weeks later, culling through hours of raw interview footage, we were stunned to realize that what we captured wasn't a story about a missing man. It was a story about what happened to his mother in the wake of his disappearance. Bearing witness to Kathy's trauma, it was clear that this was the narrative we needed to tell. And so we began to produce Gone with that simple defining plan: to let Kathy tell her story.
About the Director(s)Collapse
GRETCHEN MORNING is a writer, producer, and editor of reality and scripted TV for Discovery, National Geographic, Lifetime, TLC, and the History Channel, among others. Gone is her directorial debut. JOHN MORNING is a writer and filmmaker who has written for Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues, National Geographic, and Discover Health Channel. His award-winning short film Truckstop won NYU's First Prize Wasserman Award, and his screenplay What Would Fabio Do? won Best Comedy in Austin Film Festival's screenplay competition.