Godfrey brothers doc ‘3 Days 2 Nights’ now streaming
Film about aftermath of local plane crash won 2018 Aspen Filmfest audience award
The documentary “3 Days 2 Nights,” about brothers Andy and Mark Godfrey’s harrowing boyhood survival from a 1974 Aspen-bound plane crash and decades of healing from trauma, began streaming on Friday.
An early cut of the film premiered at the 2018 Aspen FIlmfest, where it won the festival’s Audience Award and filled the Wheeler Opera House for a Q&A with the Godfreys and director John Breen. It earned praise and more awards — including the Denver Film Festival’s People’s Choice prize — on the film festival circuit in 2019. But it has since had a long road to wider distribution, complicated and delayed by the pandemic.
“We had all this momentum and then the pandemic hit and everything just went on hold,” Andy Godfrey said Thursday. “It has been frustrating that it’s taken so long, but good things take time.”
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The Godfrey family’s small private plane crashed on Williams Peak in Garfield County on the way to Aspen from Houston on March 1, 1974, killing Mark and Andy’s parents, brother and sister on their way to an Aspen ski vacation. Mark and Andy, age 8 and 11, stayed alive in the wreckage for three days on a snow-covered mountainside outside of Glenwood Springs before an unlikely rescue. In the decades that followed, they rarely discussed the tragedy.
After a long recovery at Aspen Valley Hospital, the boys stayed in Aspen where they were raised by their aunt and uncle, Marianne and Johnny Schuhmacher, along with their sister, Paula, who was a baby at the time of the crash and had stayed behind in Houston.
In the intimate documentary, the brothers confront their long-festering trauma and tell their stories in the hopes of inspiring others.
“Maybe by me opening up, I can help some other people who have faced despair,” Mark says in the film.
Andy Godfrey said he has already seen how the film has inspired people, making him hopeful that it will help many more as it finds a wider streaming audience.
Early this year, he noted, he screened the film for an Aspen High IB film class and saw the effect his story can have on viewers.
“I was blown away by how much it touched them, how much they said it will stay with them,” Andy said. “But the most impressive thing was how many of them implemented some of the strategies immediately into their lives reaching out to their friends who were going through tough times and asking them if they wanted to talk about it. And then having those friends break down and open up. That’s what we really want to happen.”
He suggested that the film’s streaming release is well-timed to the mental health crises that were set off by the pandemic.
“With all this mental health chaos that we’re going through these days, I think this film really can help,” he said. “On a local level, it’s really resonated with people and had some pretty amazing results. So now, we’re just wondering if that’s going to translate to a wider audience. And we feel pretty good about it.”
On a recent trip to Spain, I discovered something that I believe tops the espresso martini. It’s called a barraquito.