Lost in Living
Category: Documentary / Biography
Runtime: 110 min.
Director: Mary Trunk
Producer: Mary Trunk
Lost In Living is a documentary feature that explores the lives of four women over a seven-year period. Four women who share identities as mothers and the creative impulse that governs their very existence.
This movie is an in-depth exploration of a domain normally off-limits – illumination of private experience, events that happen behind closed doors and the unveiling of one’s most personal, private and conflicted thoughts about life, family, artistic expression and self-image. Behind the domestic curtain of motherhood, where the creative impulse can flourish or languish, these women are determined to make a go of it.
Lost In Living confronts the contradictions inherent in personal ambition and self-sacrifice, female friendship and mental isolation, big projects and dirty dishes. The complex realities of family life unfold in this documentary film about the messy intersection of motherhood and artistic expression.
Living in separate small apartments, in Hollywood, California, are two best friends, Kristina, a filmmaker, and Caren, a painter. They are 36, both pregnant and excited and fearful about bringing babies into the world. On the other side of Los Angeles in the small suburb of Sierra Madre lives Merrill, a writer approaching 70 who often used her children as subjects. Now her daughters are resentful and Merrill feels she must quit. Margie, a mother of seven, in her early sixties, moved from California to Fargo, North Dakota to establish a more stable family life only to end up divorcing her husband of 38 years, alienating her children and starting over. She is an abstract painter and she calls her style of parenting, “benign neglect.”
I documented these women using informal interviews in their personal surroundings as well as verite footage of their everyday domestic and work lives. For seven years I watched as they grappled with retaining an artistic identity while raising children. Kristina’s and Caren’s friendship was put to the test when they realized how different their parenting styles were and how the relationship to art changed after having kids. Caren stopped painting and Kristina made three short films before her son turned one. As the two friends traverse the landscape of their changing relationship, Merrill and Margie’s experiences offer reflection, wisdom and a glimpse into the future. Merrill laments a career that fizzled out but still hopes that her best book is yet to come and Margie spends over $100,000 on her own personal art project much to the dismay of her grown children.
These four women’s stories illustrate in different and often similar ways the internally driven desire to explore deeply held conflicts and passions. For them art competes with other passions in their lives and the richness of their lives enriches their art. These four women’s stories illustrate in different and often similar ways the internally driven desire to explore deeply held conflicts and passions. For them art competes with other passions in their lives and the richness of their lives enriches their art.
NOTE: Synopsis are typically provided directly by the filmmaker themselves. Often English is not their first language. We ask reader’s understanding for less-than-perfect language and grammar