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Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project

An art film about family
By RICHARD BECK  |  October 31, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
THE MOTHER PROJECT: All is fair in love an art.

This new documentary by Jack Youngelson and Peter Sutherland looks like a film about art. But even though the protagonist is a photographer, and even though she spends almost all of the film taking photographs, the real subject is family. Gearon, who spent her early professional years in fashion, eventually turned her camera toward her children and her parents. She garnered enormous amounts of attention — both good and bad — when nude photos of her young kids went up in a London gallery. “I don’t think that it will harm them in any way,” she says, and though the film’s detailed portrait of the relationship between the mother and her children is sympathetic, it’s clear that nobody, least of all Gearon, knows what will harm and what won’t. What’s really at issue is how to exorcise familial demons without just handing them off to the next generation, and it’s no fault of Sutherland and Youngelson that solutions are hard to come by.
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