My Mother's Garden

   22 April 2008, terribly early in the morning

I watched My Mother’s Garden last night. The film, by director
Cynthia Lester, is all about her mother’s compulsive need to hoard things. Their family home is literally buried under piles and piles of garbage. Her mother sleeps outdoors. Cynthia describes loosing her room to junk when she was a girl, and eventually leaving home at 13. Her brothers were also effected by her moms illness, one joining a gang, the other turning to booze. Now adults, the family reunites to try and save their family home, which the city has threatened to take away from the mother. Lester has managed to capture both the humane and charming side of her mother, and the neurotic and irrational side. Her mother is an an endearing character, and I suspect part of the reason the film works so well is that her mother — despite all the crazy — is so very charming. You see all the ups and downs as the family tries to deal with a very stressful situation. It is at times quite intense. The film was excellent; you should watch it.

My Mother’s Garden was the 3rd film I saw at Hotdocs 2008. It was shown with the short Ground Floor Right There is a brief Q&A with Lester on the Hotdocs web site.



  1. I like watching documentaries about people’s crazy parents because I realise that there are crazier parents out there.

    I feel like making a documentary about my dad. Except if I really wanted to capture drama I should have started in August of last year.

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