Maggie Lee's Mommy

USA 2015. Dir: Maggie Lee. 55 min. DCP

Co-presented with Centre A, the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Mommy, the debut film by artist Maggie Lee (b. 1987), is a poignant, intergenerational diaspora memoir chronicling her mother’s life after migrating from Taiwan to suburban New Jersey. The story is told through secret family artifacts discovered by the artist after her mother’s sudden death, when Lee returned to renovate and sell her childhood home. Parallel to this narrative is Lee’s own coming-of-age, from high-school punk-dom through art school to her early career in the New York art world among the “Younger than Jesus” generation. The film cuts the artist’s trove of found family video with “superimposed scrolling text, voices, drawings, animations, footage recorded on phones: a palimpsest of motion graphics in the age of Snapchat” (Wendy Yao, Artforum). Producer Asher Penn recounts, “It felt impossible at the time, to make an uncompromising feature-length documentary by an artist in her mid-twenties that could channel the post-internet experience — Tarnation for millennials.” — Godfre Leung, Curator

Asher Penn, the film’s producer, will introduce the screening.

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Membership in The Cinematheque or Centre A will be accepted for this event.


"One of the most astonishing things I saw last year ... At the core of Maggie Lee's Mommy is a love that is almost unbearably desperate."

The New Yorker | full review