Documentary filmmaker Thomas Burstyn used to visit London, England with his family as a young boy. There, he stayed at a posh home in St. John’s Wood, not far from Abbey Road Studios, where his step-aunt Yolanda Sonnabend lived.
A few years ago, the Montreal native returned with his producer wife Sumner to that London neighbourhood. Thomas wanted to make a film about Yolanda’s career, as a revered costume and set designer for the Royal Ballet and a successful artist.
However, the film became something else when the Burstyns encountered Yolanda’s brother, Joseph.
“Joseph started to pick away at us and question our motives and our ability to tell the truth,” Thomas tells The CJN. “I couldn’t extricate myself from the thread of the story. [The film] was just going in a more of a personal direction.”
The Burstyns flew to London over a three-year period to make Some Kind of Love. By turning the camera on Yolanda and Joseph, Thomas investigated a family history he was not entirely privy to.