Sole Survivor

Project Status: 

In the history of aviation, there have been 14 large-scale, commercial plane crashes with a sole survivor. Like most survivors of trauma, the sole survivor’s experience is often misunderstood. SOLE SURVIVOR is a feature-length documentary that follows the journey of George Lamson who, at 17 years old, survived the 1985 crash of Galaxy Airlines Flight 203 which killed 73 people in Reno, Nevada. Twenty-five years after the crash, George still struggles with the purpose of his own life and agonizes over whether or not he was spared for a reason. His quest to heal has been complicated by the media’s portrayal of him as a miracle and a hero—roles that bear little resemblance to the identity that he would claim for himself.

Through SOLE SURVIVOR, George has begun to reach out to the 13 other sole survivors, several of whom were also children at the time of their accident. His attempt to reach out to other survivors spans 11 countries, three generations and a distinct array of cultural backgrounds. His goal is to build a community of healing and support for himself and the others, and to give greater meaning to his own life. In doing so, George lays the groundwork for a broader exploration of survivor’s guilt. The film will include external perspectives from academics including statisticians, philosophers, religion scholars, physicists, engineers, media scholars and psychologists. To achieve director Ky Dickens’ desired aesthetic and heighten the audience’s engagement, the entire film will be set to an evocative instrumental score by French compose, Franck Rapp, and will incorporate original, hand-drawn animation.

Director: Ky Dickens
Producer: Susan Aurinko
Production Co: Yellow Wing Productions