Where I Am

By Blizek, William L. | Journal of Religion and Film, April 2013 | Go to article overview

Where I Am


Blizek, William L., Journal of Religion and Film


Where I Am

(Slamdance: Documentary Feature)

Directed by Pamela Drynan

On January 31, 1999, American writer Robert Drake was brutally assaulted by two men in his apartment in Sligo, Ireland. Since Drake was well known as a writer on gay topics and as an editor of other gay authors, and since Drake does not remember even today any of what happened that night, it is assumed that the assailants beat him nearly to death because he was gay. The assault left him with diminished motor skills, difficulty in speaking, an inability to type (except one letter at a time-a significant blow to his career as a writer), and an inability to maintain his balance, which means that he needs to move about in an electric wheelchair. The two assailants were captured, found guilty, and sentenced to eight years each in prison. Many believe that this was a remarkably light sentence, given the bodily harm they rendered to Robert Drake.

Where I Am is the story of Drake's recovery and his return to Sligo in an effort to visit with his assailants. In the movie we see Drake come full circle, from where he was to "where I am" now. It is an amazing story, although it seems to continue to be a very sad story as well.

There are several connections with religion in the story. Drake has become a Quaker. He finds faith in God to be important in his life. He believes in a God that pervades the world around us, rather than a personal supernatural being. …

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