LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!, by Gayle Kirschenbaum, and a hit at film festivals around the world and winner of numerous awards, will be released in the U.S. by Kirschenbaum Productions.
LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! will open in New York at the Village East and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica and Town Center 5 in Encino on April 8. Other cities will follow.
What trauma could make a child certain that she was born into the wrong family? What wounds are inflicted when the home that’s supposed to be a haven isolates her as an outsider; when her mother’s words are rarely nurturing but instead, ruthlessly shaming, demeaning and critical? What will it take for the adult that child becomes to forgive such a past? Is forgiveness even possible?
This is the dilemma that Emmy® award-winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum faces in her relentlessly honest and bitingly funny documentary, LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! Her film is about the transformation of a highly charged mother/daughter relationship from Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom, from hatred to love. The documentary is the expanded version of the funny, award-winning festival favorite film, MY NOSE, in which we follow her mother’s relentless campaign to get Gayle to have a nose job.
LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is comprised primarily of decades-worth of intimate family home movies and videos—from 8 mm film coverage of Gayle’s outwardly “Leave it to Beaver-esque” childhood in an upwardly-mobile Long Island suburb, to personal family celebrations, fights, and even tragedies right up to the present—it’s the story of one determined woman’s quest to reconcile with and understand her past, which means forgiving her proud, narcissistic and formidable elderly mother, Mildred.
With raw courage and equal parts humor and pathos, Gayle invites the audience to take this epic journey along with her. Gayle is determined to unlock the key to her family’s pain and crack open her mother’s brittle shell. When Mildred grudgingly agrees to participate in the process, the two of them (with the help of a therapist) uncover shocking family secrets and long-buried suffering that throw their family history into sharp relief, and begin to shift the dynamics of their complex relationship.
The specter of loss haunts the film almost as strongly as the pain of criticism: Mildred’s still a powerhouse well into her ninth decade, but Gayle knows her mother won’t be around forever. Can she learn to understand, love and forgive her mother—before it’s too late?
LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! may be about one mother-daughter relationship, but its insights and lessons are universal. In order to move forward into the future, we all have to forgive what happened in our pasts. Gayle Kirschenbaum brings her unique brand of fearless honesty and laugh-aloud humor to a film that took decades to shoot, about a relationship that took a lifetime to mend.