Claudia Larson didn’t want to produce a documentary on Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, but she did it anyway.
Since debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2006, “Dorothy Day: Don’t Call Me a Saint” has been slowly making the rounds to parishes, schools, colleges and anywhere else people want to learn more about the the woman who devoted her life to hospitality with homeless and marginalized people. (Catch a trailer here.)
Larson says it took 14 years to finish the 55-minute documentary.
“I didn’t want to do it,” says Larson, who lives in Hollywood, Calif. “It was not my idea. It was her (Day’s) idea.”
Although Larson never met the woman who has inspired the opening of dozens of Catholic Worker houses of hospitality around the world, she felt called to portray the Day’s life in a way that no one else had. But why so long?
She didn’t know how to go about such a project. Every time Larson approached a filmmaker she was turned away. It was discouraging, she admits. But she maintains that Day kept leading her to other sources.
Larson eventually started her own production company, lucky dog productions (named for her dog, Lucky). Then she had to find people who could help her through the process of researching Day’s life, writing the script, scoring the music, recording interviews and editing the interviews into the final product.
Larson is distributing copies of the DVD “out of my backroom.” It’s available on a sliding-rate scale. Details are available on her Web site.