I always think about the people that walk past me every day. What are their secret stories? Where will life take them? Where do they go? When I pass a house on a country road, I wonder about the paths of the people who have crossed through its doors. I wonder about the lives that have been lived in the house where I now make my home and the people who will live here after I am gone. God Knows Where I Am tells the tragic story of how a woman came to die in a house that people passed every single day, unaware that she was inside.
In an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse, the police find a homeless woman’s body. An officer discovers two notebooks that form a diary of starvation, mental illness, devotion and a life that has fallen through the cracks of the system we’ve set up in this country.
Linda Bishop suffered from mental illness for most of her life. The last four months of her existence were spent living in this house, waiting for God and her mystery lover Steve to rescue her as she survived on apples, rainwater and snow during a record-setting winter.
God Knows Where I Am is told in her own words, read by Lori Singer (Footloose, Short Cuts). Her family members, doctors, a judge and police officers also offer their perspectives on her life and death.
Linda was well-educated. A mother. And someone dealing with a severe bipolar disorder with psychosis. She had been committed for three years to a state facility, convinced that the Chinese mafia was attempting to murder her and that she was in the midst of a conspiracy narrative. She successfully fought for her unconditional release and resisted her sister’s protective custody, believing that she too was part of the forces that had amassed against her.
I’m not going to tell you that this is a fun watch. It’s a harrowing tale of a woman slowly dying as she hides in a house, afraid to walk across the street where other people live. With proper care, she may have lived a longer and more full life. Or perhaps this was the way that she was meant to die, on her own terms. The film makes no judgments.