“Holding Moses”: A Powerful Documentary On Disability With Randi Rader

Holding Moses short documentary poster directed by Rivkah Beth Medow.

If you are looking for an incredibly moving and powerful story, I suggest you watch “Holding Moses.” This documentary is extremely eye-opening, providing insight into the daily struggles faced by families dealing with disabilities.

First Look At “Holding Moses”

A subject rarely portrayed 

Randi Rader and her son.

Randi Rader is a mother and dancer turned IP attorney living in Marin with her three children. After earning a fine arts degree from New York University, she performed in the Broadway show STOMP for many years. Undeterred, Randi went on to attend Berkeley School of Law and, since graduating, has spent the last decade building and protecting some of the world's largest technology brands. Currently, she serves as lead counsel in Meta Platforms, Inc.'s award-winning trademark group, playing a pivotal role in building the metaverse.

The birth of her son Moses was a moment of both triumph and distress, as doctors soon discovered that he had a rare genetic disorder with a tenuous future. This devastating news plunged Randi into a world of uncertainty and grief. However, she eventually found a new perspective and discovered a new language for learning and loving her profoundly disabled son - a language born and honed in the body.

Randi's parenting journey is a true testament to the beauty of parenthood, but it's something that we rarely speak openly about. Through "Holding Moses," a 17-minute documentary, viewers experience the challenges and joys alongside Randi as she navigates her own path.

“Randi’s story laces together family, queerness, and disability with vulnerability,” a release about the film noted. “It is a parenting journey we rarely discuss openly in our culture. The film team partnered with the Phelan-McDermid, AGENDA, and Moebius Syndrome Foundations, along with several other disability groups. The film also resonates broadly with parents of non-disabled children because, in truth, no parent actually gets the child they imagined.”

An Intimate And Inspiring Story

“Holding Moses” is an intimate and inspiring story of love and determination that features stunning visuals filmed by Randi’s partner, Rivkah Beth Medow.

“Holding Moses is especially intimate for me,” Medow said in a statement. “Our main character, Randi, is my romantic partner, and Moses is her son. In the throes of my own grief experience, Randi and I recorded the story of how she reckoned with her grief around birthing Moses. She shared her story with a fierce honesty that became our audio track. Then we began filming. Time and the changing seasons shaped the vérité and visuals to bring us into Randi’s emotional experience. What you’re seeing and hearing in this film is a mother revealing her rawest self to her partner.”

She added, “By naming and owning our truths fully—in this case, a parent’s momentary, heart-wrenching wish for her child—we help dispel the shame narrative and deepen our capacity to love authentically.”

In the accompanying New Yorker article for the film's premiere, Medow highlights that caregivers constitute a “deeply invisible community.” Expressing complex emotions about caregiving may seem like “occupying space” in a manner that appears “egotistical, unsuitable, or intolerable.

Qualified For Oscar Consideration

“Holding Moses” has been screened at many festivals, including the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival (Frameline) where it won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Short.

It also won the Golden Gate Award for 'Best Bay Area Short Film' at the San Francisco International Film Festival, where it held its world premiere.

But its most valuable award is the Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short Film that “Holding Moses” won at the Provincetown International Film Festival, as it allowed the short film to be considered for the Oscars.

Watch The Trailer

Here’s the trailer for the short documentary:

Where To Watch “Holding Moses”?

Best of all, you can watch this amazing award-winning documentary for free on the New Yorker website. So be sure to check it out today! Here’s the link: newyorker.com/video/watch/the-new-yorker-shorts-holding-moses.

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Comments 1

Guest - Hector on Sunday, 21 May 2023 22:59

This movie is nothing but self serving. This film is based on untruths. Both the director and the main character are egotistical and selfish. Moses' other parent is the one that raised him and did everything for him. That parent left Randi and she was so distraught she made this film as retaliation and completely wrote the other parent out of the story. The director has abandoned her husband dying of cancer to have an affair with Randi. It's unfortunate that these are the decisions they have made to expose a child that cannot speak and cannot consent to this exploitation.

This movie is nothing but self serving. This film is based on untruths. Both the director and the main character are egotistical and selfish. Moses' other parent is the one that raised him and did everything for him. That parent left Randi and she was so distraught she made this film as retaliation and completely wrote the other parent out of the story. The director has abandoned her husband dying of cancer to have an affair with Randi. It's unfortunate that these are the decisions they have made to expose a child that cannot speak and cannot consent to this exploitation.
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