Look At Us Now, Mother! 2016
Distributed by Tugg, Inc., 855-321-8844
Directed by Gayle Kirschenbaum
DVD, color, 88 min.
High School - General Adult
Adolescence, Aging, Children, Counseling, Family, Family Relations, Psychology
Date Entered: 05/16/2017Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
To all outward appearances, the white middle class home life the Kirschenbaum family enjoyed in Long Island, NY closely mirrored fictional television families of the time. In reality, however, and throughout her childhood and adolescence, Mildred, a domineering and hypercritical mother singled daughter Gayle out for emotional mistreatment. Now an accomplished filmmaker and writer, the daughter tries to understand and forgive her mother’s past abusive behavior. Using archival photographs and footage, interviews with family and friends as well as her mother, along with on-screen dialogues with family therapists, Gayle is able to find resolution at last.
Described by everyone who knows her as ‘a real piece of work,’ Mildred now in her 90s is both the subject and key character in this family portrait. Despite a past that was fraught with drama and unhappiness, the touching film is told with a light touch that adds a new perspective on the mother-daughter relationship that is both unique and universal.