By Kristina Houck
How do you define “one?”
That’s a question Del Mar filmmaker Sue Vicory asked all 25 people she interviewed for her latest documentary. “One” explores global humanity and our individual significance and impact within it.
“It looks at one person in the midst of 7 billion people,” Vicory said. “It seems so big and overwhelming, but when you really look at it, we’re all the same in so many ways.”
From San Diego to South Africa, Vicory traveled the globe interviewing people of different ethnicities and religions, ranging in age from 9 to 90.
In her interviews, she asked everyone how they define “one,” if they feel they are a significant piece of humanity, if they feel they’ve made an impact on humanity, what act they feel has changed someone’s life and what they want their legacy to be.
Although all of her subjects came from different backgrounds, she discovered their answers were not that different.
“It was so interesting to see a common thread that people talked about,” said Vicory, who noted every individual talked about the importance of love.
“One” is Vicory’s fourth film.
Vicory began her filmmaking career more than a decade ago after her youngest of two daughters went away to college. Having worked at her family’s business for 20 years, she wanted to follow a new passion in the second half of her life.
After deciding she wanted to be a documentary filmmaker, she signed up for a film class in New York.
Vicory released her first documentary in 2005, a short 10-minute film called “Homelessness and The Power of One.”
“It really struck a chord on the impact one person can have on another person’s life,” she said.
In 2011, she completed her second film, “Kansas City Jazz and Blues: Past, Present & Future.” The feature-length documentary covered the history of jazz and blues in Kansas City and later aired on PBS. Her third film, “1898: The W.F. Norman story,” explored her family’s hand-pressed tin ceiling business.
“I love giving birth to an idea,” said Vicory, who previously lived with her husband in Kansas City before the couple relocated to Del Mar two and a half years ago. “Once it’s complete and out there in the world — it would have never existed before it came through me.”
The idea for her fourth film came while on a flight home from Kansas City in October 2012. She was typing “one” on her iPad when the word “resonated” with her.
“It seemed like it was so wide open,” she said. “I could take it whatever direction it meant to go.”
Two months later, Vicory conducted her first interview for the film. Within a year, the film was in post-production.
Living in Del Mar throughout the process, Vicory collaborated with other locals on the project.
Carmel Valley voice-over actress Sariann Monaco co-produced and narrated the film.
Del Mar artist Maidy Morhous was one of Vicory’s subjects. Since then, Morhous created “Humanity,” a bronze sculpture inspired by the film.