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Mamaroneck Resident's Story Is Featured In Film, '112 Weddings'

Rabbi Jonathan Blake from Westchester Reform Temple is in the movie, "112 Weddings."
Rabbi Jonathan Blake from Westchester Reform Temple is in the movie, "112 Weddings." Photo Credit: Submitted
A scene from the documentary, "112 Weddings."
A scene from the documentary, "112 Weddings." Photo Credit: Courtesy photo

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Sue Odierna of Mamaroneck never thought when she got married 22 years ago that she'd be approached by her wedding videographer to be part of a documentary.

But now her story, along with the stories of ten other couples, including a husband and wife from New Rochelle and a rabbi from White Plains are featured in "1 12 Weddings ," a documentary which follows couples in the Greater New York area from their wedding day to the present.

The film, which aired on HBO last summer, is playing April 26 and 28 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.

For Odierna, the call from Documentary Filmmaker Doug Block came a few days after her husband told her he thought they should get divorced, making her story among the more poignant.

She admits she was hesitant at first -- she had her three children to think about, after all -- but then changed her mind in the hopes her story would help others. "In another life, I could have been a therapist”, she said. "I get a lot of pleasure out of providing assistance."

Despite what she thinks is a bit of a "woe is me" vibe that comes off in her part of the movie, she said she's heard from countless women who appreciated her candor. "I've given about six referrals to my lawyer but also, have helped some of these women through the crazy emotions of it all," she said. (Her kids, ages 13, 15 and 17 have still not seen the movie.)

For Michael and Jodi Smart of New Rochelle, married 16 1/2  years, the experience, though fun to participate in, got mixed reactions from friends and family. "We've got everything from 'Why would you ever do something like that?” to “Thank you for having the courage to share and participate in a film like this,'" said Michael.

The other Westchester connection is Senior Rabbi Jonathan E. Blake of Scarsdale's Westchester Reform Temple who refers to himself as a "talking head" in the movie.

He met Block over ten years ago at a wedding he was officiating. Rabbi Blake, in fact, was in Block's earlier film, "51 Birch Street."

Rabbi Blake, who lives in White Plains, said the key takeaway of "112 Weddings" is that "the joy of the wedding is not an accurate window into the real life joys, rewards, challenges and obstacles that take place in any marriage.

"It's really a nice contrasting viewpoint where you see couples on the mentally emotional rollercoaster of their wedding day to how their hopes and dreams shape up or materialize over years of marriage," he said.

Block, Rabbi Blake and Odierna will be at the film's post-discussion April 26 at 5 p.m. Go here for more information; here for the movie trailer.

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