Hello! My name is Malach (mah-lick) Dorell, currently a video production intern at Art Spark Texas where I’m assisting with the editing of several educational and promotional videos. I will have been with Art Spark for exactly six weeks by Feb 12, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the team.
Why I Will Never Stop
By Malach Dorell
I’ve often been asked by school and by institutions or programs to which I’ve applied to discern my interests and worth by reflecting on the past. I know that my fellow students–as well as professionals deep in their careers–can relate to such requests to analyze and explain our early creative or academic decisions and feats in an attempt to prove why we deserve a spot, whether it’s to gain access into an institution, or to graduate from one, or even to get a new job. Time, and time again, I have retraced commemorative steps through my mind to the so-called inception of my deepest creative loves; for years I’ve had to effectuate application after application, essay after essay, all recounting the lifelong intensity of my desire to study and make films, to write, to develop as an artist and expert of my crafts. But all this time, all those years of proudly expounding the earliest days of my journey into the world of cinema, I left a key moment redacted. And yet still, like some deep-seated form of guilt, it remained within me… And like all things suppressed and denied; it was only a matter of time before it returned.
It was some point last year, as society attempted to retain its constructs during a period of mayhem, and children all across the globe were abruptly exposed to an instability unseen before, that suddenly I recalled one of those innocent, desperate expressions of a child to its parent–a calling out for reassurance in the midst of absolute confusion and fear. This child, of course, was myself: a six-year-old raised after witnessing the attacks of 9/11 and during two brutal, seemingly never-ending wars–a child who communicated with sadness to his father that he was perturbed by what appeared to be ahead of us, as a world, a civilization, a planet. The only way I could compartmentalize this existential fear was by expressing a devastating disappointment that, as an adult, I’d never be able to direct films during a time of global dread, of impending apocalypse. My father–being the great parent he is–hastily dampened my anxieties with an amused scoff and the simple, “Oh, don’t worry. It won’t be like that.” And so I went on with my life, satisfied to remain confident in my father’s assurance.
In 2020, this moment came back to me like a smack in the face. A moment I had almost lost. A moment I had–like my father–looked back on with amusement because of its typical childish absurdity. However, it appears that these absurd things somehow always prove most pertinent.
As I tried my best to remain collected, and focused during that year of utter pessimism, in a period of mass hesitation, of mass doubt for the things we love to do and create, and whether those were important anymore, I decided to face that six-year-old within me, now brought back to the surface in some twisted form of “I told you so”. But I didn’t head to that, no. I couldn’t. I faced him and told him what he needed to hear, what I keep needing to hear, now, more than ever, that like a bulb, your efforts to do these things, these things that propel us from some otherworldly place within, will generate the light of our future.
I needed this memory to return to me, specifically at that time. I needed to face that fear again, like so many others, so that I could again realize and restore the sheer importance of the things that make me happy, and how necessary it is never to forget them. And so, as I prepare to finish my last semester of college and enter a new life as a new person, I aspire not only to continue reflecting on my past with honesty and openness; I hope that with my endeavors I can recount such a needed assurance to the next six-year-old, or the next any–year old, during this unpredictable time, as we move forward, making sure that the generator for our bulb stays on.
Malach Dorell is currently a senior at Bennington college concentrating in film/video production and creative direction with additional work in digital art, photography, and illustration.