Coming to PBS’s Independent Lens tonight, Monday, November 23: MIMI AND DONA
Sophie Sartain’s portrait of a mother and daughter debuted at the Dallas VideoFest last year. It also screened at Thin Line, Sebastopol Doc, ReelAbilities, and several community screenings around the country.
Sartain’s film explores the relationship between her maternal grandmother Mimi, 92, and her intellectually-disabled aunt Dona, 64, as they reckon with the latter’s difficult transition out of the home she’s known her entire life into an assisted care facility. Exploring not only the complex bonds between these two women, but also her mother’s own complicated history with her mother and sister, the director creates a portrait of interdependence that also ends up being informed by other family members’ experiences with autism – including the filmmaker’s own concerns about her young son. While on the whole technically rough, Sartain manages to capture a poignant sense of the impact of separation on both mother and daughter.