Kathy

2009, 39:59 min, color, sound

Shooting within the close quarters of domestic space over the course of two years, Kahn constructs a narrative "document" featuring her best friend of twenty years. Compressing time and meaning, Kahn elicits recollections of the past in the midst of events occurring in the present, framing trauma in both with ongoing interviews. Occasionally flashing back to video from over ten years ago, Kahn locates the friendship in time, but primarily in longstanding conversations about motherhood, depression, and the role of language in surviving trauma. The two met on the job as social workers, and while enduring a difficult recovery from a c-section gone wrong, Kathy explains behavioral modification therapies she uses in her work with women with mental illnesses, survivors of extreme abuse, and their children. Punctuating the distress are Kathy's hilarious impressions of her own mother's failed gestures to provide nurture. Kahn foregrounds the poignancy of re-performance and the particular comedy that arises from recalling bad times while living through more of them.

Additional footage: Coney Island 1999, shot by Harry Dodge.

 
 

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