Director lori lozinski can’t recall seeing her mother ever ride a horse. As she shifts through old photographs of her late mother on horseback, she wonders about all the adventures that were paused while her mom raised the family. Instead of hopping on horseback, though, lozinski revs up a motorcycle and rides through the Canadian highways from her current home in Vancouver, B.C. to her family home in Northern Alberta. Along the way, she processes her grief over the loss of her parents and fuels a journey of discovery by embracing the road ahead.
A Motorcycle Saved My Life, which is now streaming for free at NFB.ca, captures lozinski’s adventure through point of view shots that let viewers share the rush of the open road. Audio interviews with family members explore lozinski’s search for her mother and her quest to better understand the sacrifices she made and the lessons of the road not taken. “The motive behind not seeing anyone speaking is to nourish the sense that this could all be in the present, or a memory, or maybe a dream, or maybe it embraces all concepts of time,” says lozinski in her director’s statement. “Often, the flow of riding a motorcycle is like that—an exquisite loose reality.”
The journey along the road is intercut with family archives as pictures show the filmmaker’s mother atop the many horses the energized her in her youth, while old photos show a happy bride and mother who gave up horses to make pierogies. The film also features staged sequences, like a living room set placed in a field in which lozinski peers out an empty window frame at the road ahead. It’s a stirring way of processing her grief, and carrying these memories forward along a new adventure.
Watch A Motorcycle Saved My Life today from the NFB.
A Motorcycle Saved My Life, lori lozinski, provided by the National Film Board of Canada