"Unease" is too mild a word for the feelings you'll experience upon opening this Pandora's box of a family history proffered by documentary filmmaker Jonathan Caouette. Unsettling music, sound/image dissonance and other deconstructive techniques lend a sinister edge to still photos and home movies from Caouette's personal collection; as reassembled here, they depict one clan's decades-long struggle with a dysfunction most of us only have nightmares about. The true-life story includes episodes of shock therapy, rape, drug abuse, psychosis and paralysis most of it endured by the director's mother, whose now-fractured psyche is the sympathetic centerpiece of this 90-minute stream of avant-garde consciousness. Yet the doc places equal emphasis on the deleterious effects her prolonged ordeals had on her son, making the project as much a personal exorcism as a tribute. Undeniably compelling, it's proof of the therapeutic potential of filmmaking, but also of our limitless propensity for morbid curiosity.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.