A film made by two sisters, detailing their experiences as survivors of the Manchester Arena attack, has premiered at the city’s HOME arts venue.
Jess and Hannah Mone survived the attack on May 22 2017, and were helped by the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, as both suffered injuries.
While Jess, 21, was physically unharmed, Hannah was hit by shrapnel, which embedded in her body. Her hand was left badly injured. The 18-year-old lost a finger and has another that will never fully work again. The siblings have both been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
As Jess supported her little sister along her road to recovery, she began filming her journey of treatment and rehabilitation.
It began as a personal project to help the two of them get over being caught up in the attack.
But after Jess was inspired by Hannah’s courage, the idea grew and became ‘In Bloom’, an inspirational tale of resilience and bravery in the face of overwhelming tragedy. The film was premiered at HOME on Thursday 7 June.
Jess said: “The main thing I want from the film is that people don’t come away from it crying. I want them to come away thinking – look at this brave young girl.
“It is all about showing terrorism doesn’t win and the world carried on. I never dreamed it would be screened, that was never the ambition. I was making something for the two of us and for friends and family.
“I wanted Hannah to see how she had recovered (physically), her hand was quite swollen and gruesome. Then I realised how positive she was.
“Hannah is starting to deal with the emotional aftermath, she has difficult days but she has come so far. She is upbeat. She was incredibly brave.”
Read the full story in the Manchester Evening News
Although physically unhurt, Jess herself has also had to find a way to deal with the terrible events of May last year. She still remembers that night very clearly.
Jess said:“You don’t realise, until something happens, how precious life is. I saw my sister injured and admitted to hospital.”
The sisters both attended the one-year memorial service for those who lost their lives and have found the first-year anniversary of the attack difficult.
Jess said: “In Bloom is a personal portrait of my sister’s recovery and also explores the close relationship between the two of us.
“I am so proud of how courageous and brave she has been through such a difficult period and I believe everyone should have a chance to hear her story.
“Afterwards I realised you only get one shot at life, and that’s why I made the film. When you get so close to losing it, you realise you need to get on with your life. We do more things together now. Time is precious and we know we need to make the most of it.”
Jess is a filmmaking student at Manchester Metropolitan University, and In Bloom will also be shown as part of the Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2018 (June 9-20) at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Benzie, Grosvenor and Chatham buildings.
Watch In Bloom: